The price of oil rose slightly Friday, finishing the week two per cent higher on signs of rising demand in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery rose 41 cents to close at US$94.37 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil is up two per cent since closing last Friday at US$92.72.
The March contract for Brent crude, the benchmark for many international varieties, was up 73 cents at US$106.48 in London.
U.S. oil began the year near US$100 a barrel but retreated swiftly on indications of ample global supplies. It regained some of that ground this week on signals that the U.S. economy is churning again and burning more diesel, jet fuel, and gasoline.
On Thursday, the U.S. Energy Department said oil supplies fell by 7.7 million barrels last week, the seventh straight weekly decline. OPEC said in a report that it expects global oil demand to rise by around one million barrels a day this year, up from an increase of 900,000 barrels a day in 2013.
In other energy futures trading in New York, natural gas fell 5.6 cents to close at US$4.326 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil rose 3.9 cents to close at US$3.024 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres) and wholesale gasoline rose 2.5 cents to close at US$2.620 a gallon.