Oil prices rose sharply Wednesday after U.S. lawmakers passed legislation to avoid a \"fiscal cliff\" that would have push the world\'s biggest economy into recession. The U.S. House of Representatives voted near midnight to send the bill to President Barack Obama after a frantic day of political brinksmanship in Washington. Benchmark oil for February delivery rose 74 cents at midday Hong Kong time to $92.56 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.02 to finish at $91.82 per barrel in New York on Monday. Brent crude, used to price various kinds of international oil, rose 63 cents to $111.74 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange. In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange: - Wholesale gasoline rose 2.6 cents to $2.7876 a gallon. - Heating oil rose 1.4 cents to $3.05 a gallon. - Natural gas dipped 4.6 cents to $3.305 per 1,000 cubic feet.