The price of oil posted a slight gain Thursday, while natural gas rose 3 percent as supplies fell more than expected.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil for April delivery rose 11 cents at $101.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, gained 34 cents to $108.10 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Oil nearly fell below $100 a barrel for the first time in more than two weeks. It hit a low of $100.13 before rising in the last 90 minutes of trading. The price had dropped $3.47 over the previous two sessions as tensions over the situation in Ukraine eased.
Natural gas futures soared after the Energy Department said supplies fell by 152 billion cubic feet last week to 1.2 trillion cubic feet. Analysts surveyed by Platts expected a drop of 135 billion to 139 billion cubic feet. The nation's supplies of natural gas are 39 percent below year-ago levels.
Natural gas gained 14 cents to $4.66 per 1,000 cubic feet.
At the gas pump, the average price U.S. drivers are paying for a gallon of gasoline rose 1 cent to $3.47. That's 20 cents higher than a month ago, but still 26 cents cheaper than at this time last year.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
- Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $2.95 per gallon.
- Heating oil fell 1 cent to $2.98 per gallon.