Oil above US$102 a barrel as report shows rising demand for gasoline

The price of oil climbed above $102 a barrel Wednesday on signs of increased demand for gasoline just ahead of the summer driving season.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery added 67 cents to US$102.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, an international benchmark, gained 77 cents to US$109.31 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Oil prices were supported by a report from the U.S. Energy Department that showed demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended May 9 averaged 8.8 million barrels, up 3.2 per cent from the same period a year ago.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex, wholesale gasoline gained four cents to US$2.97 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil rose two cents to US$2.96 a gallon and natural gas added one cent to US$4.37 per 1,000 cubic feet.