Oil jumps 4.8% on supply concerns

A pipeline bombing in Nigeria and a U.S. refinery fire send oil prices up as peak driving season approaches.

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By Julianne Pepitone, CNNMoney.com contributing writer

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oil prices rose almost 5% Monday after a fire at a major American refinery and violence in Nigeria renewed supply concerns going into the summer driving season.

Light, sweet crude for June delivery rose $2.69, or 4.8%, to settle at $59.03 a barrel. Monday's increase was the highest percentage jump since April 9, when prices rose 9%.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said they had blown up two oil and gas pipelines in the region and would block waterways to disrupt exports, according to Reuters.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest exporter of crude.

Meanwhile, an explosion ripped through a major oil refinery in the U.S., compounding supply worries.

Sunoco - the largest refiner in the Northeast - said the incident sparked a fire in the ethylene unit of its Marcus Hook, Pa., plant at 10 p.m. ET Sunday. The fire was still burning Monday, though it was "contained and under control," said Sunoco spokesman Thomas Golembeski.

The cause of the explosion was unknown, Golembeski said. When asked if foul play could have been a factor, he said, "all I can say is the cause is not yet known, and we will be starting our investigation as soon as the area is secure."

No injuries were reported, and ongoing air-quality monitoring indicates there is no health risk, Golembeski added.

The currency market also pushed oil prices higher as the dollar fell against a basket of currencies on increased risk appetite in stocks.

The price of oil often rises when the greenback falls because crude is priced in dollars around the world.

The June U.S. crude contract expires Tuesday, which could also make trading more volatile than usual.

Gasoline: The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline increased to $2.311, up 0.3 cent, according to motorist group AAA.

That marks the 20th consecutive increase. During that time period, the average price of gas has increased 26.3 cents, or 12.8%. To top of page

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