U.S. crude climbed on Monday after President Chavez threaten the U.S. to cut off oil supplies due to disputes with Exxon Mobil Corp.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made the threat on Sunday after a British court favored Exxon Mobil Corp. by freezing $12 billion of Venezuelan assets. Exxon has been pushing the international court for compensation after a multibillion project was nationalized in Venezuela.
A court orders to freeze Venezuela (assets of state-owned PDVSA)â€¦if you end up freezing us and you harm us, we are going to harm you. Do you know how? We are not going to send oil to the United States declared Chavez on his Television program.
Traders were concerned about supply disruptions from the South American country which, according to the U.S. Energy Department, is the fourth biggest source of oil imports to the country.
Crude oil rose $1.82 or 1.98 percent to $93.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. London's Brent Crude on the ICE Futures Exchange rose $1.51 or 1.65 percent to $93.45 a barrel.
Oil prices gained support as lower temperatures were registered on the northeastern part of the U.S. A forecast from the National Weather Service said the temperature will decrease to 16 degrees Fahrenheit tonight.
Heating oil for March delivery rose 5.1 cents or 2 percent , to $2.6051 a gallon in New York.
In addition, Valero, the biggest U.S. refining company shut down a refinery in Delaware due to power shortage caused by a storm yesterday. Likewise Citgo Petroleum Corp. refinery in Lake Charles, La., was closed.
According to U.S. Energy Department and company data Valero's refinery can process 190,200 barrels of oil a day and Citgo's Lake Charles refinery can process 454,500 barrels of oil a day.