Oil: Price briefly tops $100 as demand for fuel rises (Excerpt below from associated press 2 days ago)
Energy analyst Stephen Schork said oil's rise was brought about by rising prices for wholesale gasoline and low supplies of diesel and heating oil. That combination will encourage refiners to buy and process more crude oil.
"It's a function of a products pulling crude," he said. "The market needs product."
Heating oil supplies have declined as a cold and snowy winter has homeowners constantly cranking up the thermostat. The Energy Department said Wednesday that supplies of distillates, which include heating oil and diesel, fell by 2.4 million barrels last week and are now 12 percent below year-ago levels. Heating oil futures gained 6 cents to $3.05 a gallon.
While some drivers have stayed indoors this winter, gasoline demand is turning out to be stronger than expected, Schork said.
Wholesale gasoline futures increased 7 cents to $2.75 and gained 15 cents, or 6 percent over the last three days.