Crude oil extended its 30-month high as a fire burned at Libya’s Sarir oilfield, bolstering concern that unrest in North Africa and the Middle East will spread, curbing shipments. Heating oil also gained, extending its 31- month high. Gasoline and ethanol slipped.
Crude oil for May delivery rose $1.47, or 1.4 percent, to $110.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 21 percent this year and 28 percent in the past year.
“The situation in Libya, and issues elsewhere in the Middle East, offer a chance to buy the rumor,” said Sarah Emerson, managing director of Energy Security Analysis Inc. in Wakefield, Massachusetts. “I see nothing in the near term to stop the rally.”
Gasoline for May delivery declined 0.64 cent to $3.1865 a gallon on the Nymex. Gasoline has increased 38 percent in a year. Prices have slipped two consecutive days after surging to a 32-month high. Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, increased 1.8 cents to $3.725 a gallon yesterday, AAA said on its website.
Heating oil for May delivery rose for the sixth straight day, increasing 1.48 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.206 a gallon, the highest settlement since Aug. 27, 2008. Heating oil has gained 43 percent in a year.
Denatured ethanol for May delivery dipped 0.6 cent to $2.694 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade. Ethanol has increased 73 percent in the past year.
Refineries and Transport
Motiva Enterprises LLC restarted the delayed coker at its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery yesterday for the first time since a fire March 31 forced a shutdown, said two people familiar with refinery operations.
To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Stubbe in Houston at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org