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March 2, 2011 4:15 PM, EST

Oil Closes Over $100 a Barrel for First Time Since 2008

Oil closed over $100 a barrel Wednesday for the first time since September 2008, Bloomberg reported.

Crude futures finished the trading day on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $102.63 a barrel, up $2.60 from Tuesday’s closing price.

It was the highest finishing price since Sept. 26, 2008, when oil closed $106.89 a barrel, according to Bloomberg Nymex records.

The soaring prices were due primarily to continued concerns about Middle East political unrest, Bloomberg reported.

The record high levels of oil, diesel and gasoline prices in 2008 also were due to Mideast concerns. Oil’s record a closing price was $145.29 a barrel, set on July 3, 2008.

Brent crude oil, traded in Europe, topped $116 a barrel Wednesday, well over the Nymex price, Bloomberg reported.

The Nymex price — based on West Texas Intermediate crude futures traded out of Cushing, Okla. — has until lately been slightly below than the North Sea Brent crude price, but Brent has spiked in recent weeks.