Thanks in part to a lack of consensus from OPEC, July crude oil gained $1.65 Wednesday.
The front-month contract settled at $100.74 a barrel after the oil cartel, meeting in Vienna, failed to decide whether to increase production quotas for its 12 member countries.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait advocated raising production—a position shared by the U.S. and other major oil importers that are trying to bolster their weak economies. Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, and the remaining countries save Nigeria urged keeping production at current levels. Nigeria took neither side in the contentious meeting.
Oil peaked at $101.89 and bottomed out at $98.02 during the midweek session.
Much of the central and eastern U.S. is experiencing a heat wave. Not surprisingly, demand for air conditioning has been on the rise. Also not surprisingly, July natural gas settled higher Wednesday.
Natural gas gained two cents to end the day at $4.85 per thousand cubic feet. The futures price fluctuated from $4.77 to $4.87.
Gasoline for July delivery lost a penny Wednesday, settling at $2.98 a gallon. The front-month contract traded within a range from $2.96 to $3.03.
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