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Oil Price Shoots Up to Unprecedented $48.88 Per Barrel

Posted September. 25, 2004 21:32,   


International oil prices are on the climb once more, and the price of crude oil futures at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) closed at an all time high.

According to a September 25 report by the Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC), the futures price for WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil at NYMEX on Friday (EST) rose by $0.42 (0.9 percent) from the previous day to close at $48.88 per barrel.

This is the highest closing price since crude oil futures trading began in 1983. The WTI futures price rose by 7.2 percent during this week alone, and by a whopping 73 percent since one year ago. Brent North Sea crude oil futures at the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) also rose by $0.20 (0.4 percent) from the previous day, closing at $45.33 per barrel—another all-time high since the London market launched crude oil futures trading in 1988.

A KNOC spokesperson explained, “While the recent onslaught of hurricanes continues to impede oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, anxiety about the U.S.’s dwindling stockpile of crude oil is escalating. And the recurring oil industry workers’ strikes in Brazil are also fueling the instability of oil prices.”

On the same day, U.S.-based business and financial news provider Bloomberg predicted that oil refining companies in North America would increase the amount of oil purchases in order to replenish existing stocks, which are at their lowest in 29 years, and that oil prices could rise to as high as $50 per barrel by next week.

Meanwhile, in the spot market, the price of Middle Eastern Dubai oil rose by $0.13 on September 24 to reach $36.17.

Jong sik Kong kong@donga.com