Oil tops $102 on signs of rise in gasoline demand

The price of U.S. oil climbed above $102 a barrel Wednesday on signs of increased demand for gasoline just ahead of the summer driving season.

Benchmark U.S. crude for June delivery added 67 cents to $102.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, an international benchmark, gained 77 cents to $109.31 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Oil prices were supported by a report from the Energy Department that showed demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended May 9 averaged 8.8 million barrels, up 3.2 percent from the same period a year ago.

At the pump, the average U.S. price for a gallon of gasoline remained at $3.64. That’s even with a month ago and up 6 cents from this time a year ago. In Houston Wednesday, the average was $3.434 a gallon, down from $3.435 Tuesday, according to AAA.

In other energy futures trading in New York:
— Wholesale gasoline gained 4 cents to $2.97 a gallon.
— Natural gas added 1 cent to $4.37 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil rose 2 cents to $2.96 a gallon.