Oil Climbs on Refinery Fire, Weak Dollar


U.S. crude oil futures rose on Thursday after a Sunoco refinery fire in Philadelphia added to concerns about U.S. gasoline supplies.

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The dollar weakened due to data showing U.S. jobless clams rose unexpectedly last week, which helped pull U.S. crude higher. 1/8USD/ 3/8 1/8ID:nN14146589 3/8Sunoco confirmed it had shut a gasoline-making fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit at its 335,000 barrel per day (bpd) Philadelphia, Pennslyvania refinery following a small flange fire.

The news came after weekly U.S. government data showed U.S. gasoline stockpiles plunged 7.0 million barrels last week, the biggest weekly drop in more than 12 years.

"The renewed dollar weakness, plus pressure from options expiration has pushed up May crude," said Phillip Stribble, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago.In London, Brent crude oil dipped ahead of the May contract's expiration.

U.S. crude for May delivery rose 41 cents to $107.52 a barrel by 11:15 a.m. EDT (1515 GMT). ICE May Brent slipped 52 cents to $122.36.

Options on the U.S. May crude contract also expire on the day, adding upward pressure as concentrations of calls are at a level above current prices.

(Reporting by Gene Ramos and Robert Gibbons in New York; Nia Williams in London; and Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by David Gregorio)

((gene.ramos@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters messaging: gene.ramos.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; +1 646 223 6054)

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