Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Perhaps the Boy King now has the excuse he needs to spring an October oil surprise?
Crude-oil futures climbed closer to a fresh record territory near $51 a barrel early Tuesday, with traders concerned about the slow progress of recovery in the Gulf of Mexico following last month's hurricanes.

"Crude-oil futures were pushed to new all-time highs on concerns that 484,000 barrels per day of production from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico remains shut in," said Tim Evans, a senior analyst at IFR Energy Services. . . .

"Hurricane Ivan seems to be registering more damage than previously thought, so [Wednesday's] energy report will be extremely important to see if we show a build in inventories," said John Person, head analyst at Infinity Brokerage Services.

Hurricane Ivan had shut-in oil output of about 14.8 million barrels and about 66.1 billion cubic feet of natural-gas output in total between Sept. 11 and Oct. 4, according to the Minerals Management Service. A little over 480,000 barrels of oil per day of production remains shut as of Monday.
Bush has already approved oil sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to four companies. With the slow recovery of Gulf oil production from Ivan, what better reason for opening the spigot to more than just a trickle? National gasoline prices are now at $1.938/gal. -- up nearly 5% over the last four weeks. George wouldn't want to risk a bunch of nasty $2/gal. headlines on November 2, would he?

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