Oil slightly higher after Canada-US pipeline shut

Oil prices inched further above $92 a barrel after a key pipeline transporting crude from Canada to the U.S. Midwest was shut down for repairs.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for November delivery was up 36 cents to $92.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 2 cents to finish at $92.10 a barrel on the Nymex on Thursday.

Brent crude, which many U.S. refiners use to make gasoline, was up 40 cents to $112.82 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

TransCanada Corp. had to temporarily shut down its 2,100-mile (3,380-kilometer) Keystone pipeline after tests showed possible safety issues, a federal agency said Thursday. Grady Semmens, spokesman for the Calgary-based company, said the pipeline was shut down Wednesday evening as a precaution and was expected to restart Saturday.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which oversees pipelines in the U.S., has said no leaks were detected on the line, which moves on average about 500,000 barrels of crude a day from Alberta, Canada, down through several states to facilities in Illinois and Oklahoma.

"For now, the expectation is that the Keystone pipeline ... will only be shut for three days while a team is being sent to investigate a `small anomaly,' said analyst Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix in Switzerland. "However, if a team is being sent to investigate it is because nobody is exactly sure about the anomaly and the weekend will therefore include a risk that we come back on Monday to a worse-than-expected situation."

Developments in Europe concerning the creation of a banking supervisor for the 17 countries using the euro currency, a step seen as vital toward stabilizing scores of troubled banks and helping to resolve the region's debt crisis, had little impact.

In other energy trading in New York:

_ Heating oil rose 2.8 cents to $3.1949 per gallon.

_ Wholesale gasoline advances 2.9 cent to $2.7559 per gallon.

_ Natural gas added 4.6 cents to $3.633 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Pamela Sampson in Bangkok and Maria Fisher in Kansas City, Missouri, contributed to this report.