NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - U.S. and Brent crude oil futures pared gains sharply in post-settlement trading on Thursday after CNBC quoted a Saudi Arabian oil official as saying that earlier reports of a fire on a Saudi pipeline was untrue.
By 4:09 p.m. EST (2109 GMT), NYMEX April crude traded at $108.95 a barrel, up $1.88, or 1.76 percent. In the frenzy over the unconfirmed Saudi pipeline report, NYMEX crude shot up to a session high of of $110.55, up $3.48, or 3.25 percent, the highest intraday price for front month NYMEX crude since May 4, 2011.
In London, ICE April Brent crude was up $3.68 at $126.34. It had rallied earlier to a session high of $128.40, up $5.74, or 4.68 percent, the highest intraday price for front-month Brent since July 23, 2008.
Before the pipeline reports filtered into the oil markets, prices were already sharply higher on news that Israel would test-fire a ballistic interceptor missile that raised fears of a conflict with Iran. (Reporting By Gene Ramos)