Crude Rises On Supplies Report

NEW YORK — Oil prices rose near $108 a barrel Wednesday morning, before retreating.

About 66 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico remains shut-in after hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The Gulf region is home to a quarter of U.S. oil production and 40 percent of refining capacity.

Light, sweet crude for November delivery rose $1.32 to $107.93 a barrel in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

There have been scattered shortages of gasoline across the Southeast. Underscoring tight supplies, the Energy Department said U.S. crude supplies fell unexpectedly last week by 1.5 million barrels. Gasoline inventories dropped by 5.9 million barrels. Refineries were running at nearly 67 percent of capacity, down nearly 11 percentage points from the previous week.

At the pump, auto club AAA says the average price for regular unleaded gas is nearly $3.72 a gallon.