Oil Prices Buoyed by Flat Dollar

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Crude oil prices were gaining Monday morning as the dollar flattened against the euro on mixed assessments of the latest news on the eurozone's moves to control the debt crisis.

A weaker dollar usually supports dollar-priced oil prices.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude oil for December delivery was rising 86 cents to $95.12 a barrel and the December European Brent crude contract was gaining $2.42 to $114.39.

"Rumors of Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi resigning appear far-fetched (and completely out of character), while Greece's Papandreou will step down as prime minister to pave the way for forming an interim government," says Matt Smith, commodity analyst at Schneider Electric's Summit Energy.

Brent crude oil prices were leading price gains thanks to ongoing North Sea supply glitches and geopolitical risk-premiums stemming from concerns about Iran's increased ability to produce nuclear weapons.

Oil price direction will take some guidance from more commodity-specific data from the Department of Energy's short-term energy outlook on Tuesday and the International Energy Agency's oil market report on Thursday, given the typical, thin volume of economic data in the second week of the month.

Meanwhile, satellite imagery shows that crude oil stockpiles at trading hub Cushing, Okla. fell 4.4% last week on a year-over-year basis, notes futures broker Rich Ilczyszyn.

Energy shares were trading mixed.

EOG Resources ( EOG) was falling 1.5% to $100.20; Suncor Energy ( SU) was up 0.9% to $32.74; Apache ( APA) was rising 1% to $101.18; Anadarko Petroleum ( APC) was falling 1% to $81.65; BP ( BP) was flat at $43.81; Chevron ( CVX) was up 0.6% to $107.02; and Triangle Petroleum ( TPLM) was up 0.5% to $5.82.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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