Crude oil above US$100 a barrel as traders look beyond big supply increase

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – The price of oil rose above US$100 a barrel Wednesday as the market looked beyond a large increase in oil supplies.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery gained $1.07 to close at US$100.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, a contract for international varieties of oil, added four cents to US$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 anticipated.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex, wholesale gasoline gained three cents to US$2.91 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil was flat at US$2.92 a gallon and natural gas fell one cent to US$4.40 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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