NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil rose slightly Friday and finished the month with a gain of 5 percent.
Benchmark U.S. crude for April delivery rose 19 cents to close at $102.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For all of February, oil gained $5.10 a barrel. U.S. refineries needed crude oil to make heating oil and diesel as frigid and stormy weather boosted demand.
Natural gas ended a wild month by gaining 10 cents Friday to $4.61 per 1,000 cubic feet. The price soared in the middle of the month as homeowners raised the thermostat and supplies fell sharply. But those gains quickly evaporated as forecasts called for warmer temperatures by the middle of March. For February, natural gas futures lost 33 cents, or nearly 7 percent.
Brent crude, which is used to set prices for international varieties of crude, rose 11 cents to $109.07 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
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