Home-heating oil continued its unseasonal rise Friday, while gasoline and crude oil declined on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

West Texas Intermediate - the principal U.S. crude for immediate delivery on the Merc - slipped 5 cents to $22.30 a barrel.Home-heating oil for July delivery rose 0.27 cent to 61.15 cents a gallon and unleaded gasoline dipped 0.12 cent to 65.98 cents a gallon.

Industry observers have been perplexed at heating oil's steady rise recently despite the fact the summer months are traditionally the weakest for the product.

The American Petroleum Institute's weekly report on the nation's oil stocks showed a rise in inventories of heating oil last week, but supplies still were well below year-ago levels.

On the U.S. Gulf Coast spot market, where oil is sold to the highest bidder, West Texas Intermediate lost 5 cents to $22.30 a barrel.

On the European spot market, the United Arab Emirates' Dubai light - the key OPEC crude from the Middle East - was unchanged at at $18.90 a barrel.