Oil Gains On Libya Worry; US Freeze Trips Up Refiners



Reuters

NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Oil rose on Tuesday as frigid weather in North America hurt some refinery operations and as new worries arose over Libyan output and fighting in Iraq.

At least five refineries in the United States and Canada curtailed supply after bitterly cold temperatures caused malfunctions and, in a few cases, full-scale closures.

"The refineries shutting down is the story of the day," said Joseph Posillico, senior vice president at Jefferies Bache in New York.

Brent crude settled at $107.35, 62 cents higher than Monday, after settling lower in the previous five sessions, partly aided by a stronger dollar and higher equity markets. U.S. crude settled at $93.67, up just over a quarter of a percent, at 2:31 EST (1957 GMT).

U.S. RBOB gasoline futures rose 3.45 cents to $2.6805 a gallon.

Libya continues to present long term concerns, after the Libyan navy opened fire on a tanker that approached to load crude at the seized port of Es Sider. Analysts were pessimistic about the prospect of a further output recovery after the restart of the major El Sharara oilfield had led to a drop in prices.

"The market is taking it with a grain of salt that (Libya) can come through this time," said Gene McGillian, an energy analyst with Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.


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