Crude oil tops $97

Dec. 4, 2013 at 4:53 PM   |   0 comments

NEW YORK, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Crude oil hit $97 a barrel in New York Wednesday as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said they would leave production quotas unchanged.

Some expected quotas to be lowered on expectation Iran would re-enter the market if sanctions against it are lifted in 2014. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh had said Iran was "technically ready" to resume oil production and could export 4 million barrels per day by mid-year, CNBC reported.

On the domestic front, the Energy Information Administration said U.S. inventories dropped by 5.5 million barrels in the week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude added $1.16 to $97.20 per barrel. Reformulated gasoline blendstock for January dropped 1.27 cents to $2.711 a gallon.

January heating oil shed 1.07 cent to hit $3.0544 a gallon while natural gas shed 1 cent to reach $3.96 per million British thermal units.

The national average price of unleaded regular gasoline dropped to $3.257 a gallon from Tuesday's $3.263 a gallon, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.

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