SINGAPORE–Oil prices lingered below US$102 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after a report showed U.S. crude supplies jumped more than expected for a third week, suggesting demand remains weak. Benchmark oil for May delivery was up 49 cents to US$101.51 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell US$1.44 to settle at US$101.02 in New York on Tuesday. Brent crude for May delivery was up 20 cents at US$120.08 per barrel in London. In other energy trading, heating oil was up 0.3 cent at US$3.10 per gallon and gasoline futures dropped 0.5 cent to US$3.24 per gallon. Natural gas rose 1.1 cents to US$2.04 per 1,000 cubic feet.
The American Petroleum Institute said late Tuesday that crude inventories rose 6.6 million barrels last week while analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos., had predicted an increase of 1.8 million barrels. Inventories of gasoline rose 1.2 million barrels last week while distillates tumbled 500,000 barrels, the API said.