Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Petroleum Prices Finish Week Mixed

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Petroleum Prices Finish Week Mixed

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) - Petroleum prices finished mixed Friday, capping a frantic week in which a North Sea oil platform explosion sent crude oil to the highest level in more than three years.

The explosion resulted in a supply shutdown that stopped the shipment of more than 500,000 barrels a day of Brent crude, or about 30 percent of total North Sea Brent oil production, Britain Energy Minister Cecil Parkinson said.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the June contract for West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark grade of U.S. crude oil, finished 4 cents higher at $21.32 a barrel. Contracts for delivery after June rose as much as 41 cents.

The $2.04 surge in the May contract on Thursday set a record for the highest one-day rise since the exchange started trading crude oil futures in March 1983, said John Santana, NYME statistical analyst. The contract closed at $24.65, the highest level since Jan. 15, 1986, when it reached $25.15.

In the four days before the contract expired on Thursday the contract rose more than $3, or about 16 percent.

Among refined products traded on the exchange Friday, unleaded gasoline for May delivery fell 0.41 cent to 74.16 cents a gallon, while the June contract was down 0.18 cent to 71.18 cents. Other contract months finished higher.

May heating oil, meanwhile, rose 1.34 cent to 53.63 cents a gallon, with other contract months also registering gains.

There was no word late Friday on when the Brent pipeline system would return to normal. Officials of Shell U.K., the unit of the Royal Dutch-Shell Group that operates the platform and the pipeline system, indicated there might be a partial resumption of about 100,000 barrels a day starting Monday.

British officials had indicated earlier in the week that the closure could last up to four weeks. …

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