The price of oil climbed on Thursday, as Iraqi army troops and Islamic militants battled for control of the country’s largest oil refinery.
By late Thursday, the refinery remained in government hands. All of the facility’s output is used domestically, so crude production and exports aren’t affected. But the violence underscores how the fighting may threaten the energy infrastructure that Iraq is rebuilding to meet global demand.
The price of U.S. benchmark crude for July delivery rose 46 cents to $106.43 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 80 cents to $115.06 a barrel in London, setting a fresh nine-month high.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama said he was dispatching up to 300 U.S. military advisers to help quell the insurgency in Iraq. Though not specifically mentioning airstrikes, Obama also said he was leaving open the possibility of “targeted and precise military action” in the future.
In other energy-futures trading:
– Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $3.13 a gallon.
– Natural gas fell 8 cents to $4.58 per 1,000 cubic feet.
– Heating oil rose 1 cent to $3.05 a gallon.