NEW YORK, March 27 (UPI) -- New York crude oil prices were up slightly Tuesday, closing just less than $63 a barrel as traders closely monitored tensions between Britain and Iran.
Crude oil for May delivery finished the day up 2 cents at $62.95 on the New York Mercantile Exchange after trading in the red for most of the day. Diplomatic efforts had yet to cause any change of status for 15 British military personnel being held in Iraq for allegedly operating in Iranian waters.
"Although the odds still remain low for a confrontation to occur, political risk premium is certainly being priced into futures again," said Mike Fitzpatrick, energy analyst at Fimat USA.
Reformulated gasoline futures closed up 0.5 cents at $2.073 a gallon and heating oil was up 1.03 cents at $1.7864 a gallon.
Natural gas futures rose 24.9 cents to finish at $7.503 per million British thermal units, supporting crude prices.
AAA said Tuesday that a gallon of regular gasoline was selling for an average $2.591. That was up 1 cent from Monday and 9 cents from a year ago.