Oil prices hit $100 per barrel for the first time in nearly four months Wednesday as U.S. supplies dropped, and a pipeline deal promised to cut them further.

The Associated Press reported prices have soared 26 percent since the end of September as the U.S. economy improves and tensions rise in countries that hold some of the world's major sources of crude.

The price of U.S. benchmark crude crossed the $100 mark early Wednesday, rising $2.85 to $102.22 per barrel in New York.

They jumped by another 2.6 percent after a Canadian pipeline company announced it would ship crude away from a key delivery point in the Midwest.

Enbridge Products Partners L.P. bought a 50 percent stake in the Seaway pipeline from ConocoPhillips for $1.15 billion. The company plans to use it to transport oil from Cushing, OK to refineries along the Gulf Coast, where much of it will be shipped overseas to meet rising demand from Latin America.

The delivery point in Cushing, Oklahoma, has been historically oversupplied with little access to international oil markets.

Fears of another U.S. recession had knocked oil prices from their 2011 peak at $113.93, set on April 29. A variety of factors have recently pushed prices back up.