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Crude Oil Climbs Past $115

Near-term natural gas jumps 20 cents to $10.58 per million British thermal units.

Crude futures soared above the $115-a-barrel level Friday after a Nigerian rebel group announced that it sabotaged a major oil pipeline operated by

Royal Dutch Shell

(RDS.A)

.

West Texas crude for May delivery climbed 87 cents to $115.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude gained 84 cents to $113.27 a barrel. Reformulated gasoline rose fractionally to $2.96 a gallon, and heating oil edged 2 cents higher to $3.28 a gallon.

Near-term natural gas jumped 20 cents to $10.58 per million British thermal units.

Oil's Ready to Simmer Down

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While the sabotage report has not yet been confirmed by Shell, traders bid the price of oil higher as soon as the rumors of the attack began to swirl. The group, MEND, is involved in an ongoing battle with the Nigerian government for control of the massive streams of oil revenue that are produced in Nigeria's southern delta region.

Meanwhile, energy stocks moved higher in the trading session.

ConocoPhillips

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rose 0.9% to $83.52, and

Chevron

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climbed 0.9% to $92.81.

Hess

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advanced 2.8% to $105.39, and

Exxon Mobil

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rose 0.6% to $93.93.