Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

War Threatens Strengthen Oil Prices

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

War Threatens Strengthen Oil Prices

Article excerpt

From Staff, Wire Reports Most buyers of crude in Oklahoma raised posted prices by 25 cents a barrel on the spot cash market Tuesday, bringing Oklahoma Sweet and West Texas Intermediate to $20.50.

Kerr-McGee Corp. posted Central Oklahoma Sweet at $20.75. Oklahoma Sour was posted at $18.90 by Citgo Petroleum Corp. and Koch Oil Co. and at 0 by Kerr-McGee. Phillips 66 Co. also announced the price changes.

In the national markets, oil prices strengthened on trader anxiety over possible renewed U.S. bombing of Iraq, shrinking U.S. energy stockpiles and evidence the economy is recovering, which could increase demand for fuel.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the August delivery price of light sweet crude oil fetched $21.65 a barrel, up 18 cents from the Monday close. Later delivery month prices also rose. Prices for refined products were mostly higher as well.

Natural gas prices posted sharp gains, with contracts for delivery in August settling at $1.205 per 1,000 cubic feet, up 3.6 cents. Other contracts rose by as much as 7.1 cents per 1,000 cubic feet as gas made gains across the board.

In London, the August delivery price of North Sea Brent Blend crude rose to $19.75 a barrel from $19.53 Monday on the International Petroleum Exchange.

"We rallied early on continued concerns over the possibility of military action against Iraq," said Andrew Lebow, a trader at E.D.& F. Man International Futures Inc., an energy futures concern in New York.

The United States has strongly hinted it would use force to make Iraq's Saddam Hussein comply fully with terms of the cease-fire that halted the Persian Gulf War more than three months ago.

Oil strategists reason that new fighting could destabilize the peace in the Middle East and disrupt oil supplies, the same argument that sent energy prices sharply higher for a time during the months leading up to the

Another major reason for the market's strength Tuesday came from correct anticipation by traders that weekly domestic supply statistics from the American Petroleum Institute would show a decline in the stockpile of oil and refined products. …

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