Business

Oil price falls as Ukraine tensions ease

NEW YORK — The price of oil fell almost 2 percent Wednesday as tensions in the Ukraine continued to ebb and the US government reported higher supplies of domestic oil.

Crude oil for April delivery dropped $1.88, or 1.8 percent, to close at $101.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Diplomats from Russia and Western nations were working to find a resolution to the Ukraine crisis.

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Oil prices had fluctuated sharply as investors feared Russian exports could be affected by sanctions or that shipments from the Black Sea region could be disrupted.

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The Energy Department said supplies of oil rose by 1.4 million barrels last week.

Also, demand for gasoline and distillate fuels, including diesel and heating oil, fell over the past four weeks, compared with a year earlier.

In other energy futures trading:

 Wholesale gasoline lost 5 cents to $2.94 per gallon.

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 Heating oil fell 5 cents to $2.99 per gallon.

 Natural gas retreated 14 cents to $4.52 per 1,000 cubic feet.