Oil prices move higher

July 11, 2012 at 4:25 PM
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NEW YORK, July 11 (UPI) -- U.S. oil prices ended higher, pushing toward $86 a barrel, Wednesday after a report showing a larger decline in inventories than expected, analysts said.

The August contract for crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange was up $1.90, or 2.3 percent, to end the day at $85.81 per barrel.

Natural gas futures moved higher Wednesday. The contract for August delivery was up 4.3 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $2.85 per million British thermal units.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday it expects utilities will see a 21 percent increase in natural gas demand this year, slightly above the previous forecast, analysts said.

Home heating oil futures were up 1.65 percent to $2.7643 per gallon.

Reformulated blendstock gasoline was up 1.07 percent to $2.7764 per gallon.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline was up to $3.383 per gallon Wednesday, AAA said.

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