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Oil, Gas Prices Inch Higher as Iraq Tensions Mount

The price of oil rose on Wednesday as Sunni militants pushed forward in northern Iraq, striking the country's biggest refinery and stoking worries about oil exports as some firms pulled foreign oil workers out of the country.

The crisis in Iraq has begun to seep into prices at the pump just as Americans begin the busiest driving season of the year. AAA has forecast that drivers will spend relatively more for gas this month, a time of year when prices typically dip. The national average for gas was $3.69 a gallon Wednesday, the highest for the day since 2008.

Brent rose 17 cents to $113.62 a barrel by 1445 GMT. U.S. crude however was 6 cents lower at $106.30 a barrel after a smaller than expected draw in domestic stocks.

Worries about disruption to Iraq's supply drove up both benchmarks by more than 4 percent last week, the biggest weekly jump since July for Brent and since December for U.S. crude.

-- NBC News' Patrick Rizzo contributed to this report.

Iraq: Baiji refinery center of strife 2:09

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