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Energy prices lower, still near 2-year highs

SHARE Energy prices lower, still near 2-year highs

NEW YORK — Energy prices fell Wednesday while the East Coast continued to dig itself out of Monday's blizzard and a cold snap swept across other parts of the country.

Heating oil, natural gas and other energy commodities usually get more expensive as the weather chills. But analysts said most traders already have locked in their energy contracts for the year, and those still buying are looking ahead to 2011. With the U.S. sitting on higher-than-average heating oil and natural gas supplies, temperatures would need to drop much lower for a longer period to raise prices, analyst Tom Kloza with Oil Price Information Service said.

Benchmark oil for February delivery gave up 37 cents to settle at $91.12 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The rise in oil pushed gasoline prices higher as well. The national average added 1.2 cents overnight at $3.061 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.