Crude Oil Prices near $18 Level

Article excerpt

Crude oil futures touched the $18 a barrel mark for the first time since last February, continuing a runup triggered by OPEC's agreement to put quotas on production. The gains were trimmed a bit near the close.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled 12 cents to 29 cents higher with the February contract at $17.94 a barrel; heating oil was .76 cent to 1.11 cents higher with February at 49.95 cents a gallon; and unleaded gasoline was .70 cent to 1.24 cents higher with February at 49.34 cents a gallon.

"Prices continue to advance. . .on the belief that the OPEC agreement is going to work," said Peter Beutel, an analyst in New York with Elders Futures Inc. "OPEC appears to have convinced the market that it is serious (about cutting production), at least for now."

In related news Wednesday:

- In Tulsa, Citgo Petroleum Corp. and Sun Refining and Marketing Co. both raised the prices paid for crude oil.

Citgo increases the price it pays for all grades of crude oil by $1.50 per barrel bringing the price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil to $16.50.

Sun Refining and Marketing, a Tulsa-based subsidiary of Sun Co. of Radnor, Pa., raised the prices for most grades of domestic crude by $1.50. The Sun price for West Texas Intermediate and high grade Oklahoma Sweet crude oil is now $16.50.

- In New Orleans, a Saudi Arabian economist predicted that OPEC nations will boost the price of oil to $18 a barrel in 1987 because most of them need the money as much as oil-producing regions of the United States.

Abdullah M. Basodan, of King Saud University in Riyadh made the prediction in New Orleans where he was attending an economics convention. …