Oil up slightly, ends week with 2 percent gain
Benchmark U.S. crude oil for May delivery gained 39 cents to $101.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
By PABLO GORONDI
The Associated Press
The price of oil rose slightly Friday and finished the week with a 2 percent gain amid signs of stronger economic growth in the U.S. and global supply concerns.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil for May delivery gained 39 cents to $101.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, oil rose 2.2 percent.
Concerns are growing in energy markets about supply from Nigeria, which produces about 2.5 million barrels of oil daily. There have been reports of sabotage at a pipeline, where leaks have forced Shell Nigeria to halt exports from its Forcados terminal since March 4.
Meanwhile, the recovery in the U.S. economy signals greater demand ahead. The Commerce Department on Thursday raised its economic growth estimate for the last quarter of 2013 to 2.6 percent from 2.4 percent, largely because of higher consumer spending.
Heading into the weekend, U.S. drivers are paying an average of $3.54 a gallon at the pump, according to AAA. That's 11 cents higher than a week ago, but 11 cents cheaper than at this time last year.
In other markets, Brent crude, a benchmark for international varieties of oil, was up 24 cents to $108.07 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Elsewhere on the Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline slipped 1 cent to $2.94 a gallon.
— Heating oil rose 1 cent to $2.96 a gallon.
— Natural gas dropped 5 cents to $4.49 per 1,000 cubic feet.