Crude oil climbed above $100 a barrel in New York after an Energy Department report showed an unexpected drop in U.S. inventories as refineries bolstered operating rates and imports declined.

Oil advanced as much as 3.5 percent after the department said supplies fell 15,000 barrels to 370.3 million last week. Inventories were forecast to rise 1.7 million barrels, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Refineries operated at 83.2 percent of capacity, the most since the week ended April 1.

“There’s plenty of oil out there but continued unrest is going to keep prices around $100,” saidChip Hodge, who oversees a $9 billion natural-resource bond portfolio as senior managing director at MFC Global Investment Management in Boston. “Libyan oil will remain off the market for the foreseeable future, and that’s just one trouble spot.”

Crude oil will lead a rally in commodities as production fails to keep pace with consumption, said Ray Eyles, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s commodity business in Asia.

“Ultimately, the long-term fundamental supply and demand of commodities is still pointing to higher prices,” Eyles said in an interview in Singapore. “The commodities that have the best underlying fundamental stories at the moment” are in energy because of unrest in the Middle East and Japan’s nuclear crisis, he said.

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