Oil prices surge as gasoline hits decade-long high

Published April 29th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Oil prices continued to bubble up on Friday, April 27, supported by the rising cost of gasoline and crude in the United States. A barrel of Brent North Sea crude for June delivery took on another 27 cents early on Friday to $27.87.  

 

In New York overnight, the June light sweet crude contract soared $1.15 to $28.44. Dealers and analysts said the market was continuing to be led by the nose by US gasoline prices, which have soared to levels not seen since the 1991 Gulf War, ahead of the peak driving season in the United States. 

 

On Thursday, the price of a gallon of gasoline rose 2.87 cents to $1.109. Strong gasoline prices helps the crude price because refineries need to buy more crude to boost production to meet the additional demand. 

 

"I would be surprised to see the market come off," said Prudential Bache analyst Tony Machacek. "The market was inspired again by gasoline in the States making new highs." 

 

Analysts said that the gasoline situation in the United States was tight, and that any disruption could cause local supply shortages and sharp rises in price. This was having an upward effect on the crude price, which has been supported by renewed technical buying from investment funds, according to Machacek. 

 

"There are still concerns about gasoline stocks," said Machacek. "Stocks are still very low overall and this confirms (concerns) about potential shortages during the summer." 

 

The basket price of seven crudes worldwide used by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to guide production policy, rose to $25.69 on Wednesday from $24.37 on Thursday, the OPECNA agency reported. —(AFP)  

 

© Agence France Presse 2001 

 

 

 

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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