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Energy prices flat Wednesday

  |   Aug. 24, 2011 at 6:31 PM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices held steady in New York Wednesday, hovering above $85 per barrel with traders expecting exports from Libya to resume soon.

Ross Cassidy, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said exports from Libya could reach 600,000 barrels a day by the end of the year "assuming a swift end to hostilities."

Prior to the civil unrest that broke out in February, Libya was producing 1.6 million barrels of oil per day, nearly all of that sent to Europe, The Wall Street Journal said.

As the conflict appeared to be winding down, traders still have market forces to consider. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for October delivery shed 69 cents Wednesday to reach $85.15 per barrel. Home heating oil prices rose 0.12 cents to $2.9702 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline gained 0.27 cents to reach $2.7585 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices shed 0.47 cents to reach $3.922 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price for unleaded gasoline rose to $3.575 per gallon Wednesday from Tuesday's $3.572, AAA said.

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