Tuesday, 25 September, 2007

Crude eases for second day

Crude prices drop as storm chances dissipate but natural gas soars

Crude oil prices softened today after the storm threat at Gulf of Mexico dissipated. The Gulf accounts for about 25% of U.S. oil production. With this, crude slipped for the second consecutive day.

For the day ending Monday, 24 September, 2007, crude-oil futures for light sweet crude for November delivery closed at $80.95/barrel (lower by $0.67/barrel or 0.82%) on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $83.90, on 20 Sept, the highest intraday price till date. Prices are up 33% from a year earlier.

BP, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and other oil companies sent workers back to the Gulf after a tropical depression made landfall without becoming a storm.

Brent crude oil for November settlement fell 39 cents (0.5%) to close at $78.91 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Natural gas rallies on storm prediction

Natural gas rose in New York on speculation three possible tropical weather systems may become storms, possibly threatening Gulf of Mexico production. Gas for October delivery rose 28.7 cents (4.7%) to settle at $6.367 per million British thermal units.

Against this backdrop, October reformulated gasoline closed at $2.0834 a gallon, down 3.11 cents. October heating oil closed down 2.56 cents at $2.2306 a gallon.

OPEC planned to boost daily oil production by 500,000 barrels. OPEC's production target is 27.2 million barrels a day, beginning 1 Nov. OPEC, has decided to raise their daily output by 500,000 barrels per day, starting 1 November.

Attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria have curtailed shipments and tight supplies from OPEC have bolstered crude prices this year. As per the U.S. Energy Information Administration, tight global energy supplies are expected to keep energy prices high through 2008.