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Thursday 20th of November 2008
July 6, 2005

Storms exacerbate oil supply fears


by Brian Turner
Storms exacerbate oil supply fears

Tropical storms in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday raised fears of production interruptions and boosted the lingering concern over fourth-quarter supplies of distillates such as heating oil.

Distillate prices rose in response to a lack of spare refining capacity and took crude oil prices with them.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange was up $1.69 to $61.28 per barrel, only 20 cents below its record high.

Nymex August gasoline gained 8.32 cents to $1.765 per gallon, an all-time high, and Nymex heating oil rose by 4.36 cents to $1.776 per gallon.

Brent crude August contracts, meanwhile, rose 90 cents to $59.19 per barrel, while gasoil his a record high of $559.75 per tonne.

This sent other energy prices higher as well.

British natural gas prices for January were up 4 percent to £1 per therm, also a record high, while that rise in turn took electricity prices for winter 2005 up 45p to £60.60 per megawatt hour.

OPEC oil production rose by 210,000 barrels in June to 30 million barrels per day as Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates increased their supplies.

When OPEC put off talks toward increasing output by 500,000 barrels per day above a similar increase set to begin this month, it said it would resume talks if oil again rose above $60 per barrel.

Now that the price has again topped that level, Iran has said that talks should still not resume.

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