NEW YORK --- Oil prices passed the $61-a-barrel mark earlier today, amid expectations for greater heating oil demand because of frigid temperatures in the Midwest and Northwest U.S. By mid-day trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude for April delivery rose 36 cents to $61.50 a barrel. Friday's closing price of $61.14 was the highest closing price since Dec. 22, the Associated Press reported. Prices have also been affected by tensions between the West and Iran, as well as escalating violence in Nigeria.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials

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