U.S. benchmark crude settled up $3.96 at $42.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The 10.3 percent gain was the largest for U.S. oil since prices were rebounding from financial crisis of 2009.
The most severe oil-industry collapse since the 1980s has prompted explorers to curtail drilling budgets, cancel rig contracts and shelve plans to search for untapped crude fields from the Indian Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.
BP issued a news release Tuesday saying it had safely restarted a large crude distillation unit at its refinery in Whiting, 15 miles southeast of Chicago, that had been shut down since Aug. 8 for unscheduled repair work.
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