Oil Tops $107 As Iraq Refinery Battle Goes On
The price of oil rose Friday and ended the week with a slight gain, as a battle for control of Iraq's biggest refinery remained undecided.
The Beiji oil refinery has a capacity of 320,000 barrels a day, according to Platts, accounting for a quarter of Iraq's refining capacity. While all its output is used domestically, a prolonged shutdown could force the energy producer to import oil products to keep up with the country's needs, cutting into global supplies.
The price of U.S. benchmark crude for August delivery rose 83 cents to $107.26 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It closed up 35 cents for the week.
Brent crude, used to price international oils, slipped 25 cents to $114.81 a barrel in London, after setting a nine-month high the day before.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline was flat at to $3.13 a gallon.
— Natural gas dropped 5 cents to $4.53 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil was flat at $3.05 a gallon.
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