Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Gosh, it seems like just last month oil prices were around $42/barrel. Oh, that was just last month!

That was then; this is now.
Crude oil surged above $51 a barrel in New York to the highest price in almost four months, as colder- than-normal weather in the U.S. and Europe raised demand. . . .

``The colder weather, particularly in Europe, is pushing us higher,'' said Tom Bentz, an oil broker at BNP Paribas Commodity Futures Inc. in New York. ``The strength of the euro against the dollar is also lending strength to the market.''

Crude oil for March delivery rose $2.80, or 5.8 percent, to $51.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest closing price since Oct. 29 and biggest one-day gain since June 1. Futures are up 44 percent from a year ago. . . .

``There's no excess capacity to ease any potential supply disruptions,'' said Rick Mueller, an analyst with Energy Security Analysis Inc. in Wakefield, Massachusetts. ``Chinese demand is growing faster then was forecast and oil producers such as Iraq are not stable.''
Well, at least the Europeans won't be hit quite so hard, what with the euro rising 1.2% today and sterling up 0.8%.

In October 2004 the NYMEX had >$50/barrel oil for 20 straight days. We'll see if February-March 2005 can give that a run for its money.

And I must say, I'm rather put off with this sudden end to spring here in London -- well, at least it sure looked like spring to this guy from the Northeast. When I arrived three weeks ago the temperature was in the 50s. Now it's highs in the mid-30s, snow flurries every day, and damned windy. I want my springtime back!

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