Crude oil settles near $98

Feb. 25, 2011 at 6:58 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices rose Friday in New York but held under the $100-per-barrel mark to settle near $98.

A sharp price run-up triggered by unrest in Libya has faded, at least temporarily. Saudi Arabia has reassured traders it could step up production to meet demand while political unrest in Libya continues.

After dropping 32 cents overnight, April delivery light, sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 89 cents Friday to $98.17 per barrel. Home heating oil prices added 6.18 cents to $2.955 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline prices rose 3.41 cents to $2.909 per gallon. Natural gas prices added 15 cents to $4.022 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline rose to $3.287 per gallon from Thursday's $3.228, AAA said.

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