Oil up above $101 as US growth rate revised higher

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The price of oil advanced past $101 a barrel Thursday following an upward revision to U.S. growth figures and ongoing concerns about tight supplies.

Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery rose $1.02 to close at $101.28 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That is the highest closing price in three weeks. On Wednesday, oil jumped $1.07 to close at $100.26.

Brent crude, a contract for international varieties of oil, gained 80 cents to $107.83 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

The American economy grew by 2.6 percent in the last three months of 2013, up from an earlier estimate of 2.4 percent, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The improvement was attributed to higher consumer spending, which suggests demand for energy might be stronger than expected.

Meanwhile, there remained some concerns over supplies. A report by the U.S. Energy Department on Wednesday showed that while crude oil supplies increased 6.6 million barrels, that was offset by declines in gasoline stocks.

"Gains are being maintained ... as geopolitical tensions and supply issues that never seem to fully recede support prices," said the Kilduff Report edited by Michael Fitzpatrick.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $2.94 a gallon.

— Heating oil added 3 cents at $2.94 a gallon.

— Natural gas advanced 18 cents to $4.58 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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