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Oil prices rise as storm heads toward Belize

The Associated Press

Oil prices are climbing as Tropical Storm Ernesto pushes toward landfall near Belize where it could affect some of Mexico's crude production.

Benchmark oil rose $1.32 to $93.52 per barrel Tuesday in New York. Brent crude increased $2.16 to $111.72 in London.

Analysts say Ernesto could potentially develop into a hurricane and move into the Bay of Campeche which contains two of Mexico's production areas.

Prices also are rising as tensions escalate in the Middle East, raising concerns about oil shipments from the region to other countries.

Separately, a big Chevron refinery in California is closed after a fire has been extinguished. There is no immediate word on when production will resume.

At the pump, the national average for gasoline is up 1.5 cents to $3.634 per gallon.