Oil Prices rises near $102 as natural gas prices sinks

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SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Crude-oil futures closed higher Thursday, as a surprise decision by key oil producers to keep production quotas unchanged and a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude inventories fed concerns about tighter supplies, lifting prices to nearly $102 a barrel.

Natural-gas futures, meanwhile, suffered their biggest single-session percentage decline in more than a month after a U.S. government showed supplies rose more than expected last week.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery CL1N -0.37% gained $1.19, or 1.2%, to settle at $101.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It touched a high of $102.44 earlier in the trading session.

On Wednesday, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could not reach a consensus on increasing production and kept official output targets unchanged.

The outcome spurred a rally in oil prices Wednesday, sending prices roughly 2% higher. Read more about the OPEC meeting.

Separately on Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a 4.8 million-barrel decline in crude-oil inventories for the week ended June 3. Analysts polled by Platts had expected a fall of around 1.5 million barrels. Read more about OPEC and the EIA in Wednesday’s story.

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