Bomb threat at BP refinery boosts oil prices
Crude oil prices were on the rise on Friday as investors worried about conditions in Nigeria and after a bomb threat was received by a BP refinery in Indiana. At midday, December contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude was up 97 cents to $58.85 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while just a bit earlier Brent crude for December delivery had added 49 cents to $58.36 per barrel in London.
In Nigeria, the US Consulate in Lagos e-mailed American citizens a warning that militants are planning to hit multiple oil facilities in the country’s delta region in simultaneous attacks. Up to 20 facilities were believed to be targeted, and the attacks were said to possibly be intended to involve not only bombings but kidnappings. Similar attacks have been being carried out since the beginning of the year and have resulted in about a quarter of the nations oil production has been put out of commission.
Meanwhile, a bomb threat was phoned in to BP’s oil refinery in Whiting Indiana early on Friday morning. According to a spokesman, nonessential personnel were evacuated but operations continued as usual. A search was conducted without finding a bomb, and the spokesman said that the call appeared to be a hoax.
Heating oil was up over one cent to $1.6525 per gallon on the report earlier in the week that inventories were down by 2.7 million barrels last week to 141.3 million barrels, while gasoline also added just over a cent to $1.4624 per gallon on stockpiles that dropped by 2.8 million barrels to 204.6 million barrels last week. Natural gas prices were 14 cents higher to $7.954 per 1,000 cubic feet.