Meanwhile many Americans are feeling less pain at the pump as gas prices hit another year-low at a national average just under $3.23 a gallon, only a half-cent higher than a year ago.
In energy futures trading Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose $1.52 to end at $110.36 per barrel in London.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange:
— Heating oil rose 4 cents to finish at $3.04 a gallon.
— Natural gas fell 10 cents, or 2.9 percent, to end at $3.32 per 1,000 cubic feet after rising for two straight days.
— Wholesale gasoline gained 5 cents to finish at $2.74 a gallon.