Oil edges above $100 on tighter supply outlook

The price of oil bounced back above $100 a barrel Wednesday on expectations of tighter supplies.

Benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was up 49 cents to $100.43 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 12 cents to $99.94 on Tuesday.

Increased demand for heating oil due to frigid weather in the U.S. has lifted prices in recent weeks.

In a report issued Tuesday, the Energy Department estimated Americans will consume 5 percent more fuel this winter to heat their homes.

Just as inventories of distillates tighten, refineries are starting to undergo seasonal maintenance, which lowers supplies and boosts prices heading into spring.

Brent crude, which is used to set prices for international varieties of crude, gained 8 cents to $108.26 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

- Wholesale gasoline gained 0.7 cent to $2.76 a gallon.

- Heating oil added 0.2 cent to $3.03 a gallon.

- Natural gas jumped 14 cents to $4.964 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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