NYMEX Crude Settles at Record $52.02 High

Crude marched past the $52 per barrel level Wednesday and settled in record high territory on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Renewed tensions in Nigeria's oilfields offset gains in crude and refined fuel supplies in the United States that were less-robust than traders had wanted to see.

The result was a 93-cent gain for November crude and a record settlement price of $52.02 per barrel. Heating oil and gasoline futures both gained a little more than a penny.

The nation's crude supply increased to 274 million barrels, which is still within the normal range for this time of year. The 1.1-million barrel buildup was much lower than last week's increase.

While the inventory reports released Wednesday showed a build in the United States' crude supplies, there was news an agreement between the Nigerian government and rebels in the oil-rich Niger Delta was falling apart.