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Friday 29th of August 2008
May 27, 2005

King Fahd health concerns increases price on crude futures


by Brian Turner

News that King Fahd of Saudia Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter since 1982, had been admitted to hospital for tests sent July crude oil futures higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday.

King Fahd was admitted Friday night Saudi time suffering from what was described as lung trouble. While the king, thought to be 85 years of age, has handed over the running of routine affairs to his half-brother, Crown Prince Abdullah, he still must give his consent for key decisions.

King Fahd is credited with the modernization of his kingdom and with strengthening his country’s alliance with the United States, especially after he asked for US troops to protect Saudi Arabia when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.

Those ties have weakened since the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, as Saudi Arabia has come under criticism for tolerating Islamic radicalism.

On the news of the king’s hospitalization, July deliveries on Nymex went as high as $52.00 per barrel before closing 84 cents above Thursday’s close at $51.85 per barrel.

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