Crude prices on the NYMEX hit $45.45/barrel today thanks to Moqtada al-Sadr. One wonders if the big push to wipe him out in Najaf is as much about global oil markets as it is about . . . what exactly is the Iraq war about, now?
Most of the oil goes through the British patrolled southern city of Basra, where Sadr's followers have threatened to attack oil facilities unless US forces stop their military action in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf to the north. . . .UPDATE: Just before 1pm EDT today NYMEX prices hit $45.55 .
The reduced oil output from Iraq could not have come at a worse time for a global oil market where supply is struggling to keep up with strong demand.
Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday that it was ready to pump as many as 1.3 million extra barrels a day of oil to try to cool runaway prices, but this had little effect on oil costs.
"Everything's gone wrong in the oil market recently," said David Thurtell, commodities strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
"If you wanted to paint the worst scenario picture, you couldn't do much better."