U.S. crude prices rose on Friday, ending near $99 after the media reported Turkish forces have entered into the Northern region of Iraq on Thursday, media informed.

The incursion of Turkish forces to fight Kurdish rebels lifted prices today as investors worried the military strikes could destabilize the oil production region of a 600-mile crude pipeline -which produces about 500,000 barrels of crude a day.

Iraq is ranked as the world's third largest owner of oil reserves.

Crude futures for delivery in April rose $0.84 cents or 0.86 percent to $99.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:22 p.m. Brent crude rose $0.78 cents or 81 percent to $97.07 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The cold weather in the northeast of the United States helped raise prices today. However, there remain concerns about the economic health of the U.S., the largest consumer of oil in the world. A slump in housing and credit crunch limited gains.

An economic slowdown in the U.S. could lower demand of fuel and increase inventories. Crude stockpiles rose last week 4.2 million barrels, surpassing forecasts ranging from 2.3 to 2.9 million barrels, the Energy Department reported yesterday. Likewise, gasoline supplies rose to their highest level in 14 years.

This week, crude prices touched just above $100 a barrel twice, reaching a record high of $101.32 on worries the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will keep or cut oil output at its meeting next March 5.