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Oil falls after Exxon shuts pipeline

Monday - 4/1/2013, 10:10pm  ET

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil fell Monday as Exxon shut a pipeline that carries oil out of the Midwest and a report showed a cooling of U.S. manufacturing activity.

Benchmark oil for May delivery fell 16 cents to close at $97.07 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the first decline since March 21, but the price was up from a low of $95.92 in the morning.

Exxon Mobil Corp. shut its Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas after a leak. The pipeline, with a capacity of 96,000 barrels a day, carries Canadian crude oil from the Midwest to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. The closure raised the prospect that refiners would resort to buying more imported crude.

Oil stayed lower after an industry group said growth in U.S. manufacturing activity slowed in March. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index dropped to 51.3 from 54.2 in February.

Oil rose $3.52 a barrel, or 3.8 percent last week, driven by signs of strength in the U.S. economy. The gain for the month of March was 5.6 percent.

At the pump, the average price for a gallon of gas fell 1 cent over the weekend to $3.63 a gallon. That's down 13 cents from a year ago and 30 cents lower than at this time last year.

In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

-- Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to end at $3.10 a gallon.

-- Heating oil rose 2 cents to finish at $3.07 a gallon.

-- Natural gas fell 1 cent to end at $4.02 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.


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