Oil posted a slight gain Thursday, while natural gas rose three per cent as supplies fell more than expected.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery hit a low of US$100.13 a barrel before rising in the last 90 minutes of trading to finish the session up 11 cents at US$101.56 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, gained 34 cents to US$108.10 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Natural gas gained 14 cents to US$4.66 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Natural gas futures rose after the U.S. Energy Department said supplies fell by 152 billion cubic feet last week to 1.2 trillion cubic feet. Analysts surveyed by Platts expected a drop of 135 billion to 139 billion cubic feet.

U.S. supplies of natural gas are 39 per cent below year-ago levels.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex, wholesale gasoline rose one cent to US$2.95 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres) while heating oil fell one cent to US$2.98 a gallon.

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