The price of crude rose to near $104 a barrel Friday as offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico braced for Tropical Storm Karen. Investors were also keeping a close watch on developments in Washington D.C., as the partial shutdown of the U.S. government entered a fourth day.
U.S. benchmark oil for November delivery rose 53 cents to close at $103.84 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week oil rose 97 cents, snapping a three-week losing streak that knocked $7.66, or 7 percent, off the price of a barrel.
Several oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico, including Exxon, said they were taking precautionary measures, including the evacuation of non-essential personnel from offshore installations in the path of the tropical storm that could turn into a weak hurricane over the weekend.
The potential disruption comes amid the budget impasse in the U.S. Some 800,000 federal workers and scores of agencies were idled this week after a sharply divided U.S. Congress failed to agree on short-term funding for the government to pay its bills beyond Monday, when the fiscal year ended.
A prolonged halt to government activities would reduce demand for energy and result in lower prices of fuels such as gasoline. That would be a boon for U.S. drivers but also signal a weak economy.
Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, gained 46 cents to $109.46 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 3 cents to $2.61 per gallon.
— Natural gas rose 1 cents to $3.51 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil was flat at $3.00 per gallon.
Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.
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A tractor trailer veered off the road and went through a fence, while crashing into the Forest Hill Cemetery, in Fredonia, Friday morning.
Officials in Wyoming have captured a wanted man and his girlfriend, who were allegedly heading to Buffalo.
After a slow and slippery commute Thursday night, many western New Yorkers are waking up early, hoping they can get to work on time Friday morning.
NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has obtained a court order to prevent a Buffalo woman from ever selling puppies again.
Around 5 p.m. on Thursday near the corner of Model City Road and Rt. 104, police say 84-year-old Jose Martinez was hit by a car driven by 82-year-old Maura Nolan. Both are residents of Lewiston.
Santa Land is returning to Chestnut Ridge Park, on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.