Winter temperatures running below the historic averages helped prop up crude oil in New York with prices holding at more than $97 per barrel Thursday morning. Light, sweet West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange added 40 cents to hit $97.76 per barrel. Gasoline gained 0.29 cents to reach $2.6638 a gallon. Home heating oil added 2.19 cents to hit $3.2035 a gallon. Natural gas plunged 22 cents to reach $5.25 per million British thermal units. Natural gas prices have been fluctuating wildly with supplies low and demand high in some areas. The national average price of unleaded regular gasoline dropped to $3.275 per gallon from Wednesday's $3.277 , the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.
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