BANGKOK – Oil was becalmed near US$102 a barrel Tuesday as U.S. legislators tried to hammer out an agreement to raise the government’s borrowing limit and avoid a possible default.
Benchmark crude for November delivery was down 4 cents to $102.37 a barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 39 cents to close at $102.41 on Monday.
The oil price has swung back and forth for days as lawmakers attempt to resolve an impasse that has left the government partially closed and the markets worried about the U.S. defaulting on its debt for the first time. The U.S. has to increase the amount of debt it can sell by Oct. 17
Brent crude, the benchmark used to set prices for international crudes used by many U.S. refineries, was down 22 cents at $110.02 on the ICE futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline was steady at $2.649 a gallon.
— Natural gas rose 2.2 cents to $3.842 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil added 0.2 cent to $3.033 a gallon.