Crude oil prices held above $97 per barrel Thursday with equity markets higher in Asia and lower in Europe. Traders are concerned with growing tension in Europe regarding Greece\'s request for an extension on international bailout terms. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 percent, despite disappointing trade data. Supporting crude oil prices, the Energy Information Administration late Wednesday said U.S. stockpiles dropped by 5.4 million barrels to 360.7 million barrels in the week ending Saturday, a larger draw down than was expected. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for October delivery added 19 cents overnight to $97.45 per barrel. Natural gas gained 1 cent to $2.836 per million British thermal units. Home heating oil gained 2.36 cents to $3.1608 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline added 2.92 cents to $2.9674 a gallon. At the pump, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.718 per gallon Thursday, up from Wednesday\'s $3.716, AAA reported.