Oil Above $100, Traders Shrug Off Jump in Supplies

(AP) -

The price of oil rose above $100 a barrel Wednesday, as the market looked beyond a large increase in oil supplies.

Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery gained $1.07 to $100.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a contract for international varieties of oil, added 4 cents to $107.03 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

A report from the Energy Department for the week ended March 21 showed crude oil supplies rose by 6.3 million barrels, more than double the gain of 2.6 million barrels expected by analysts, according to Platts. However, supplies at the oil hub in Cushing, Okla., where benchmark U.S. oil is priced, fell by 1.3 million barrels. And gasoline supplies dropped by 5.1 million barrels, a much bigger drop than analysts had anticipated.

At the pump, the average price for a gallon of gasoline rose to $3.54. That’s 12 cents higher than a month ago, but still 12 cents cheaper than at this time last year.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

  • Wholesale gasoline gained 3 cents to $2.91 a gallon.
  • Heating oil was flat at $2.92 a gallon.
  • Natural gas fell 1 cent to $4.40 per 1,000 cubic feet.