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Crude oil turns higher

  |   April 12, 2012 at 6:05 PM
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NEW YORK, April 12 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices climbed past $103 Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, despite a reported buildup in world supply.

The International Energy Agency said it sensed "a turning of the tide for market fundamentals with an implied first quarter 2012 global stock build of 1.2 million barrels per day."

The IEA said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries added production in the first quarter in advance of sanctions against Iran for its alleged nuclear weapons program.

"Unplanned stoppages" curbed first quarter non-OPEC supply ... but gradual recovery is expected for the rest of the year," the IEA said.

In New York, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for May delivery added 66 cents overnight to $103.55 per barrel. Home heating oil prices shed 0.13 cents to $3.165 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline lost 0.17 cents to $3.355 per gallon.

Natural gas prices shed 1.7 cents to $1.983 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline fell to $3.907 per gallon from Wednesday's $3.915, AAA said.

Some experts say gas prices have peaked for the year but warn even a small supply disruption -- or even the threat of one -- could send prices higher.

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