MARCH 21 2012 16:13h

Crude oil rebounds slightly

Crude oil rebounds slightly

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NEW YORK, March 21 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices rebounded slightly overnight to top $106 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Wednesday morning.

Traders are monitoring developments in the Middle East, where sanctions against oil-exporting Iran are beginning to take effect. The Saudi Arabian Council of Ministers this week said it would work with Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members and unilaterally to make up for supply disruptions "to bring down oil prices to reasonable levels."

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that 11 countries had begun to impose economic sanctions on Tehran. She called the step "no easy task," given the difficult global economic environment.

April delivery West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude added 7 cents to $106.34 per barrel Wednesday.

Home heating oil shed 0.37 cents to $3.233 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline shed 0.4 cents to $3.3473 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices lost 1.5 cents to $2.32 per million British thermal units.

The national average price of unleaded gasoline reached $3.864 per gallon Tuesday, up from Tuesday's $3.846, AAA said.