Politics and nature keep oil prices elevated

Aug. 16, 2013 at 8:04 AM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Crude oil for September held above $107 per barrel in New York Friday, as traders reacted to turmoil in the Middle East.

Civil unrest in Egypt and strikes in Libya have pushed oil prices near the $108 mark that was last seen in March, when data showed the U.S. economic recovery gaining strength.

The onset of hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico is also keeping prices high, given the potential for a supply disruption created by Mother Nature.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate Friday, crude added 13 cents to reach $107.46. Reformulated blendstock gasoline added 0.38 cents to reach $2.9883 per gallon. Home heating oil gained 1.08 cents to reach $3.0836 per gallon.

Natural gas shed 2.6 cents to $3.393 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline was $3.541, up from Thursday's $3.539, the AAA Fuel Gauge report said.

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