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Crude oil prices rise again

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by Elaine Frei

Crude oil prices were higher on Tuesday after Bolivia announced that it was taking control of foreign owned gas fields within its borders. This news, on top of a warning from Saudi Arabia’s oil minister that there would likely be more terrorist attacks on oil facilities in his country, increased worries that supplies would be disrupted despite the Saudi insistence that it is still committed to guaranteeing 1.5 million to 2 million barrels per day of spare capacity. Meanwhile, the deputy oil minister in Iran said that because short-term supplies cannot be increased, the price per barrel could reach $100, further escalating supply concerns.

Brent crude June contracts on the International Petroleum Exchange added 12 cents to $74.01 per barrel after reaching as high as $74.39 per barrel earlier in the day. West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery went as high as $74.30 per barrel during the day before settling back to $74.10 per barrel, still 40 cents above Monday’s closing quote.

Meanwhile, in the precious metals markets, gold added 1 percent to $664.40 per troy ounce and silver was up 1.5 percent to $14.11. Gold’s rise was attributed mostly to the same tensions that are sending crude oil prices higher, while healthy demand for the new iShares silver exchange traded fund have sent silver prices higher. Base metals prices also were up, with copper rising 1.6 percent to $7,100 per tonne and zinc 0.8 percent higher to $3,207 per tonne.

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News posted: May 2, 2006

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