Commodity Corner: Oil Stays Above $100

The price of crude oil for April delivery fell Thursday but managed to stay in triple-digit territory.

Front-month crude ended the day at $101.91 a barrel, a 32-cent decline from the previous session. Thursday's decline followed news of a vague proposal by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to negotiate a peace deal in Libya between Moammar Gaddafi and rebel forces. Because the Venezuelan ruler and close Gaddafi comrade's peace proposal was short on specifics when announced, it is unclear how practicable or successful it would be should the parties agree to a deal.

Oil traded within a range from $100.15 to $102.94 Thursday.

The April natural gas contract price lost four cents to settle at $3.78 per thousand cubic feet. The fourth consecutive price drop for gas this week stems largely from new storage data released by the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration.

According to the EIA, the amount of U.S. working natural gas in storage declined by only 85 billion cubic feet last week—much smaller than the 131-Bcf five-year average for the week. In addition, moderating temperatures throughout much of the country have softened heating demand.

Natural gas peaked at $3.87 and bottomed out at $3.76 during Thursday's trading. April gasoline remained unchanged Thursday, again settling at $3.03 a gallon. Gasoline fluctuated from $2.98 to $3.03.