Oil prices rose above $97 a barrel Monday in Asia after US lawmakers struck a last-minute agreement to raise the government''s debt limit, avoiding a default. Benchmark oil for August delivery was up $1.41 to $97.11 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude dropped $1.74 to settle at $95.70 on Friday. In London, Brent crude was up $1.21 at $117.95 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange. In other Nymex trading in August contracts, heating oil rose 3.9 cents to $3.14 a gallon while gasoline gained 5.0 cents at $3.11 a gallon. Natural gas futures added 1.5 cents at $4.16 per 1,000 cubic feet. Analysts said the agreement brightens the outlook for energy use as it may help keep the fragile US economic recovery on track. The European benchmark contract was at a premium of $21.23 to New York futures, compared with a record close of $22.63 on July 14. Meanwhile investors are also looking forward to the outcome of a possible hurricane threat as US National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Eugene may strengthen to become a hurricane by Tuesday. The fifth named storm of the Eastern Pacific season is moving west-northwest over open water about 420 miles south-southwest of Acapulco, Mexico, at 10 miles per hour, the center said.