Crude oil prices slipped under $98 per barrel Wednesday but kept within the 2012 trading range. Prices rose overnight as economic data from Europe encouraged investment. But gains were held in check by long-term concerns over the sluggish recovery. Prices slipped throughout the day. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery reached a peak above $99 per barrel before settling down to $97.39. Home heating oil gained 1 cent to $3.0555 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline shed 0.07 cents to $2.8915 per gallon. Henry Hub natural gas prices gained 1.5 cents to $2.397 per million British thermal units. At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline rose to $3.45 per gallon Wednesday from Tuesday\'s $3.443, AAA said.