Oil rises slightly as Gulf waterway closes

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Oil rises slightly as Gulf waterway closes
A vessel surrounded by a sheen on the water near the Port of Galveston on Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston, Texas. Dozens of ships are in evolved in clean-up efforts to remove oil that spilled into Galveston Bay after a ship and barge collided near the Texas City dike on Saturday afternoon. (AP Photo/ Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)

A dead oil covered bird is shown on the shore area along Boddeker Rd. on the Eastern end of Galveston near the ship channel Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Melissa Phillip)

Oil containment booms cuts across a sand bar covered with birds on Pelican Island on Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston, Texas. Dozens of ships are in evolved in clean-up efforts to remove up to 168,000 gallons of oil that make have spilled into Galveston Bay after a ship and barge collided near the Texas City dike on Saturday afternoon. (AP Photo/ Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)
Map locates oil spill in Texas; 1c x 3 inches; 46.5 mm x 76 mm;
An oil containment boom is shown washed to shore on the beach area along Boddeker Rd. on the Eastern end of Galveston near the ship channel Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Melissa Phillip)
A sheen is seen on the water near East Beach and the Galveston Jetties on Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston, Texas. Dozens of ships are in evolved in clean-up efforts to remove oil that spilled into Galveston Bay after a ship and barge collided near the Texas City dike on Saturday afternoon. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)
Vessels work with skimmers and oil containment booms in Galveston Harbor on Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston. Dozens of ships are in evolved in clean-up efforts to remove up to 168,000 gallons of oil that make have spilled into Galveston Bay after a ship and barge collided near the Texas City dike on Saturday afternoon. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)
Vessels work with skimmers and oil containment booms in Galveston Harbor on Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston. Dozens of ships are in evolved in clean-up efforts to remove up to 168,000 gallons of oil that make have spilled into Galveston Bay after a ship and barge collided near the Texas City dike on Saturday afternoon. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)
Workers try to move oil containment boom from the shore area along Boddeker Rd. on the Eastern end of Galveston near the ship channel Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Melissa Phillip)

Workers try to move oil containment boom from the shore area along Boddeker Rd. on the Eastern end of Galveston near the ship channel Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Melissa Phillip)

Workers try to move oil containment boom from the shore area along Boddeker Rd. on the Eastern end of Galveston near the ship channel Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Melissa Phillip)
An oil containment boom is shown washed to shore on the beach area along Boddeker Rd. on the Eastern end of Galveston near the ship channel Sunday, March 23, 2014 in Galveston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Melissa Phillip)
An oil containment boom is shown washed to shore on the beach area along Boddeker Rd. on the Eastern end of Galveston near the ship channel Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Melissa Phillip)

A dead oil covered bird is shown on the shore area along Boddeker Rd. on the Eastern end of Galveston near the ship channel Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Melissa Phillip)

Oil is shown washed ashore on the beach area along Boddeker Rd. on the Eastern end of Galveston near the ship channel Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Melissa Phillip)
Oil containment booms are spread out in Galveston Harbor on Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Galveston. Dozens of ships are in evolved in clean-up efforts to remove up to 168,000 gallons of oil that make have spilled into Galveston Bay after a ship and barge collided near the Texas City dike on Saturday afternoon. (AP Photo/ Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)
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The price of oil edged higher Monday as traders waited to see how long a key transit route in the Gulf would be closed following an oil spill there.

Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery rose 14 cents to close at $99.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, slipped 11 cents to $106.81 a barrel

On Saturday, a barge carrying about 900,000 gallons of heavy oil collided with a ship in the Houston Ship Channel, spilling as much as 168,000 gallons into one of the world's busiest waterways. More than 80 ships have been forced to wait to enter or leave the bay.

Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates, said the oil prices could shoot higher if the waterway isn't open by the end of the week.

Soft Chinese economic data kept a lid on prices Monday. The preliminary version of HSBC's purchasing managers' index for China showed manufacturing dropped to an eight-month low, while factory output shrank at the fastest pace in 18 months.

Some investors bet the data would spur China to introduce economic stimulus measures to prevent a deeper slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

- Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to $2.89 a gallon.

- Heating oil dropped 1 cent to $2.91 a gallon.

- Natural gas lost 4 cents to $4.28 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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