Oil prices fall as Iraq boosts exports
Oil prices fell on Tuesday for the third trading day in a row as supply fears declined after Iraq boosted oil exports through its southern pipelines and Russia vowed to raise supplies.
The price of benchmark Brent North Sea crude oil for delivery in October fell 29 cents a barrel to 42.74 dollars in late morning deals in London.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for October delivery, dropped 21 cents to 45.84 dollars in pre-opening electronic deals.
Prices have fallen markedly since the September contract reached an all-time high 49.40 dollars in New York on Friday before expiring, AFP reported.
"Venezuela has moved away as an issue. Iraq's production is rebuilding again despite problems continuing in Najaf," noted Commerzbank analyst Jon Rigby.
Officials at the South Oil Company in Iraq said Monday oil exports from southern Iraq amounted to 83,000 barrels an hour, almost the normal rate, through two pipelines in the south.
Exports had dropped to less than half that rate over the previous two weeks after Shiite fighters loyal to Moqtada Sadr threatened to blow up pipelines feeding two southern terminals.
Despite the current stabilization, analysts said the outlook for Iraqi supplies remained uncertain. "The restart of Iraq's oil operations could provide significant extra supply of oil," Barclays Capital's commodities team said in a research note.
"However, we remain concerned about this supply being maintained, particularly in the north where supply has been intermittent since the war ended." (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)