NEW YORK, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices held to more than $109 per barrel overnight and gas prices jumped 3.5 cents following U.S. President Obama's remarks on rising gasoline prices.
"There are no quick fixes to this problem, and you know we can't just drill our way to lower gas prices," Obama said during an appearance in Miami Thursday.
The national average price of unleaded gasoline promptly jumped Friday morning to $3.647 per gallon, up from Thursday's $3.612, AAA said.
A jump of a half a cent in a day is noteworthy. A climb of more than 3 cents is more typical of a week than of a 24-hour span.
On Friday, crude oil prices rose as equities were higher in Asia and Europe and tensions in the Middle East remained in the news.
The International Monetary Fund warned the price of oil could rise as much as 30 percent due to international sanctions meant to pressure Iran to end work on a suspected nuclear weapons program. A 30 percent spike in prices would put oil near the record of more than $147 per barrel.
April delivery West Texas Intermediate crude priced on the New York Mercantile Exchange added 62 cents overnight to reach $109.45 per barrel. Home heating oil shed 1.25 cents to $3.3005 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline shed 1.24 cents to $3.3132 per gallon.
Henry Hub natural gas prices gained 0.5 cents to $2.555 per million British thermal units.