* Israel hits Syrian artillery that fired on Golan
* China Oct implied oil demand up 6.5 pct on year
* North Sea Buzzard field output briefly cut
* EIA, API inventory data delayed by one day
(Updates prices in paragraph 7, adds details on U.S. inventory
data in paragraph 12)
By Robert Gibbons and David Sheppard
NEW YORK, Nov 12 Oil slipped in choppy trading
on Monday, as markets balanced concerns about U.S. fiscal
problems against geopolitical tensions and strong oil demand in
Prices seesawed throughout the day before heading lower in
the afternoon as worries about looming U.S. tax increases and
spending cuts - the so-called fiscal cliff - weighed on markets.
Early support came from data suggesting that implied oil
demand in China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, grew
6.5 percent in October from a year earlier, bolstered by
inventory building and new production capacity.
In addition, Israel's army fired tank shells into Syria in
response to a Syrian mortar shell that struck the Golan Heights,
stirring concerns Israel could become drawn into the conflict.
Tensions in the Middle East, including the West's standoff
with Iran over the OPEC nation's nuclear program, have lifted
oil throughout the year, while worries about the impact of the
struggling global economy on fuel demand have pushed prices
"The battle continues between the negativity from the
slowing of the global economy compared to what global stimulus
programs might do to the economy going forward, while
geopolitics have continued to remain an issue," said Dominick
Chirichella of New York's Energy Management Institute.
Brent December crude settled 33 cents lower at
$109.07 a barrel, below the 100-day moving average of $109.19.
U.S. December crude slipped 50 cents to settle at $85.57
Oil received a brief bounce from news that production at
Nexen Inc's Buzzard oilfield was temporarily shut off
because of a power interruption at the weekend, before the
restoration of output on Monday.
Delays in the field's restart following two months of
maintenance have disrupted shipments of Forties, the most
important of the North Sea crudes underpinning the Brent
benchmark, and helped widen Brent's premium to U.S. crude in
Jitters about delivery problems and a tight supply picture
in New York Harbor underpinned U.S. December RBOB gasoline
futures in early U.S. trade, before they followed the
rest of the oil complex down slightly in late activity.
Hurricane Sandy's strike on the U.S. Northeast hit New York
Harbor, delivery point for the gasoline and heating oil
contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange. There have
been fears that deliveries on the November contracts will be
hampered by damage to the region's infrastructure.
Weekly U.S. oil inventory data from the American Petroleum
Institute and the U.S. Energy Information Administration,
normally released on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, is
delayed by a day this week due to the Veterans Day holiday.
(Reporting by Robert Gibbons and David Sheppard in New York;
additional reporting by Alice Baghdjian in London and Manash
Goswami in Singapore; Editing by M.D. Golan and Dale Hudson)