NEW YORK — Oil prices closed moderately higher Friday as the strong rally touched off by the ouster of Ahmed Zaki Yamani as Saudi Arabia's oil minister ran out of steam.
Analysts said the buying momentum slowed amid some profit-taking, short-selling and moving aside by traders waiting to see what would result from the removal of Yamani, who has been a prominent leader in the actions of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries for 24 years.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange, contracts for December delivery of West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark U.S. crude, closed at $15.27 a 42-gallon barrel, up 23 cents. The price had jumped $1.31 a barrel on Thursday.
Among contracts for November delivery of refined products, heating oil rose 0.97 cent a gallon Friday to 40.54 cents after rising 2.8 cents Thursday. Unleaded gasoline, up 2.15 cents a gallon Thursday, added another 0.61 cent Friday.