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May 28, 2017

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Oil up as US refineries restart after storm

BANGKOK--The restart of refineries in the storm-hit northeastern United States helped lift oil prices on Thursday.

Benchmark oil for December delivery rose 8 cents at midday Bangkok time to US$86.32 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 56 cents to finish at US$86.24 per barrel in New York.

Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, fell 17 cents to US$108.53 per barrel in London.

In other trading:

— Heating oil fell 0.8 cents to US$3.0545 per gallon.

— Natural gas rose 0.8 cents to US$3.70 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Wholesale gasoline rose marginally to US$2.6030 per gallon.

Nine oil refineries that make up 8 percent of U.S. refining capacity sit in the region hit by Superstorm Sandy. Nearly all were affected by the storm, and two still were not operating late Wednesday.

Crude prices were up "following reports that a number of key Northeastern refineries were back in operation after Hurricane Sandy, which was seen bolstering near term demand for crude oil," CME Group said in an energy market report.

The largest refinery by capacity, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, was in excellent condition and awaiting crude shipments. Normal operations were reported at four other refineries.

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