Crude oil prices were slightly higher Monday in light trade as some investors took the week off ahead of the US Labor Day holiday next weekend.
The price gains came after Russia’s parliament voted to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the two breakaway regions of Georgia whose military support by Russia have caused tensions in the area recently.
The vote raised the possibility that the tensions could continue for some time to come despite the pullout of some Russian troops and tanks last Friday.
Also helping send oil prices higher was the formation of a tropical depression that could eventually affect oil facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.
October contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude added 54 cents to $115.13 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude gained 35 cents to $114.27 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London, where trade was not affected by the UK’s bank holiday.