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Exxon Mobil Corporation Message Board

  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Nov 21, 2007 2:39 PM Flag

    first substantial increase in Cushing stocks in weeks

    first substantial increase in Cushing stocks in weeks

    Oil hesitates on drive to $100 a barrel
    AP Business Writer

    NEW YORK --Energy futures balked on a drive to $100 a barrel Wednesday after the government reported that supplies at a key oil terminal in the Midwest rose for the first time in weeks.

    Overall crude inventories fell, and distillates including heating oil dropped more than expected last week, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reported.

    That could mean more bad news for heating oil customers already expecting costs to rise 22 percent this winter. Heating oil futures fell 0.32 cent to $2.6869 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange after earlier hitting $2.7154, a new record.

    At the pump, meanwhile, gas prices fell 0.1 cent overnight to a national average of $3.089 a gallon, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Prices have fallen 2.3 cents since last week, and are almost 14 cents below the record price of $3.227 a gallon set in May, a bit of good news for Thanksgiving holiday drivers.

    Gas prices will likely remain flat or fall unless oil reaches $100 a barrel or higher, analysts say.

    Crude prices retreated Wednesday, however, after a mixed inventory report that didn't do much to change a prevailing view that oil supplies will tighten amid rising demand.

    "It's two steps forward, then one back in terms of this week's inventory cushion," said Tim Evans, an analyst at Citigroup Inc. in New York.

    Light, sweet crude for January delivery fell 90 cents to $97.13 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

    Before the inventory report, prices had risen as high as $99.29 a barrel in electronic trading to break the previous intraday record of $98.62 set earlier this month.

    "Not exciting enough to get us over the hump just yet," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago, referring to the inventory data.

    Crude prices are within the range of inflation-adjusted highs set in early 1980. Depending on how the adjustment is calculated, $38 a barrel then would be worth $96 to $103 or more today.

    Other energy futures were mixed. December gasoline fell 1.31 cents to $2.4384 a gallon on the Nymex. December natural gas rose 13.1 cents to $7.608 per 1,000 cubic feet. In a separate report, the EIA said natural gas inventories grew by 4 billion cubic feet last week, more than expected.

    In London, December Brent crude fell 63 cents to $95.86 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

    Oil inventories fell by 1.1 million barrels last week, versus a 700,000 barrel increase analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, on average, had expected. Inventories at the closely watched Nymex delivery terminal in Cushing, Okla., rose by 1.2 million barrels, however. It was the first substantial increase in Cushing stocks in weeks, and the largest since the end of August.

    The Cushing terminal is the physical delivery point for Nymex crude. Falling supplies there are seen as a symptom of a tight market. Those concerns ease when Cushing inventories rise.

    The EIA also said refinery activity

81.23-0.02(-0.02%)Nov 27 1:01 PMEST