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Pump prices slipped average 4 cents in January as cold weather kept drivers home; oil lower

Oil workers stand at a facility site in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain, on Nov. 21, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Hasan Jamali

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Oil workers stand at a facility site in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain, on Nov. 21, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Hasan Jamali

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery fell 74 cents to close at US$97.49 a barrel on Friday, closing out a month in which crude finished 93 cents US lower than in December.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, fell $1.55 to US$106.40 a barrel in London on Friday, down four per cent for the month.

Meanwhile, the severe cold sent the price of heating fuels soaring.

Natural gas, used for heat by almost half of U.S. residences, rose 17 per cent for the month to US$4.94 per 1,000 cubic feet. The price hit a four-year high of US$5.56 per 1,000 cubic feet on Wednesday.

In other trading Friday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, wholesale gasoline retreated four cents to US$2.63 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres) and heating rose six cents to US$3.28 a gallon.

(TSX:ECA), (TSX:IMO), (TSX:SU), (TSX:HSE), (NYSE:BP), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:XOM), (NYSE:CVX), (TSX:CNQ), (TSX:TLM), (TSX:COS), (TSX:CVE)

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