* U.S. agency says talk of shutdown of Bakken terminals "a
* U.S. fourth-quarter GDP growth revised down to 2.4 pct
* Mounting tensions in Ukraine keeping risk appetite in
(Adds settlement prices, analyst comment, Ukraine uprisings;
By Elizabeth Dilts
NEW YORK, Feb 28 U.S. oil on Friday had its
eighth straight week of gains on market talk of fewer oil rail
shipments from the booming Bakken shale in North Dakota.
Brent oil settled moderately higher but ended the week
lower, weighed down by an outlook for dampening demand in China
and another for stymied European growth due to uprisings in
Crude oil loadings at a dozen major North Dakota rail
terminals fell by more than 200,000 barrels on average in the
past two days to 345,000 barrels, data from industry
intelligence provider Genscape showed on Friday.
The U.S. Department of Transportation knocked down market
chatter that new rules requiring shippers to test all crude
before it is carried by train led to a shutdown at the Bakken
oilfield terminals, calling it a "rumor."
Nonetheless, U.S. crude oil spiked by as much as 60
cents by 10:35 a.m. EST, but pared gains to settle 19 cents
higher at $102.59 a barrel. U.S. oil ended the week less than 1
Brent crude rose 11 cents to $109.07 a barrel and
settled less than 1 percent lower on the week.
U.S. gasoline for March delivery expired nearly 3
cents higher to $2.7898 per gallon. The April contract, which
will become the front-month on Monday, rose 1.69 cents to
The New York ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) March contract
, commonly known as heating oil, expired .28 cents higher
to $3.0893 per gallon. The April contract rose .63 cents
to settle at $3.0163 per gallon.
Oil on both sides of Atlantic may be due for a deeper price
correction as more U.S. and European refiners enter maintenance
and demand for crude wanes, said Stephen Schork, editor of the
energy newsletter The Schork Report in Villanova, Pennsylvania.
"It's still the time of year for peak (refinery) turnaround
season," Schork said, adding the market has been at its highest
range in four months.
Exxon Mobil Corp said on Friday it shut a sulfur
recovery unit for planned maintenance lasting several weeks at
its 149,500-barrel-per-day refinery in Torrance, California.
Lower estimates for U.S. gross domestic product also capped
gains in oil.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported Friday that GDP
expanded at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter,
down sharply from the 3.2 percent pace reported last month and
shy of analyst expectations, according to a Reuters poll.
Meanwhile, violence in Ukraine's Crimea region also dampened
investor risk appetite in Europe, as armed men described by the
Ukraine government as Moscow forces took control of two airports
Worries over China, the world's second-largest oil consumer,
also curbed gains in oil. China's yuan suffered its biggest
weekly loss on record on Friday, adding to global investor
apprehension about China's slowing economy, high levels of local
government debt and an increasingly risky shadow banking
Money managers cut their net long U.S. crude oil futures and
options positions in the week to Tuesday from a record high last
week, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
(Additional reporting by Shadi Bushra and Alex Lawler in London
and Manash Goswami in Singapore; Editing by Jason Neely, Chris
Reese and Amanda Kwan)