Source: Agencies | 2013-3-12 | ONLINE EDITION
OIL reversed an early decline yesterday and finished above US$92 for the first time this month.
Benchmark oil rose 11 cents to end at US$92.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price was below US$91 a barrel during morning trading.
Although oil shows a gain of nearly 2 percent over the past three trading sessions, many traders believe the large supply of oil in the US will keep a lid on the price.
Last week the Energy Department said that the nation's supply of crude is 10.3 percent above year-ago levels. And US oil production, at more than 7 million barrels a day, is at the highest level since the late 1990s.
Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates, estimates that oil supplies grew another 2.5 million barrels in the week ended March 8. He also said oil could start to fall toward US$85 a barrel later in the week if US economic data boosts the dollar. A stronger dollar makes oil a less enticing investment for traders using other currencies, since oil is traded in dollars.
Pump prices fell slightly over the weekend. The nationwide average for a gallon of gas is US$3.70, down 9 cents from a year ago.
Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by US refineries, fell 63 cents to finish at US$110.22 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
- Wholesale gasoline fell 5 cents to end at US$3.15 a gallon.
- Heating oil slipped 1 cent to finish at US$2.97 a gallon.
- Natural gas rose 2 cents to end at US$3.65 per 1,000 cubic feet.