• search

Oil eases as Bush outlines plan to cool prices

Written by: Staff
|

TOKYO, Apr 26 (Reuters) Oil prices edged below a barrel on Wednesday, after the United States suspended crude deliveries to the emergency reserve and raised the prospect of easing strict federal fuel standards.

U.S. crude futures stood 2 cents lower at .86 a barrel, having tumbled from a record high of .35 a barrel touched on Monday. But losses were stil limited by concerns about key oil producers Iran and Nigeria.

London Brent crude was down 9 cents to .12, reversing the previous day's modest gain of 21 cents.

Gasoline prices led Tuesday's slump with a 2 percent fall as U.S.

President George W. Bush called for the Environmental Protection Agency to respond to requests for waivers that would allow suppliers to sell cheaper, lower-grade gasoline, potentially helping ease a summertime supply crunch.

May gasoline was up 9 points at TOKYO, Apr 26 (Reuters) Oil prices edged below $73 a barrel on Wednesday, after the United States suspended crude deliveries to the emergency reserve and raised the prospect of easing strict federal fuel standards.

U.S. crude futures stood 2 cents lower at $72.86 a barrel, having tumbled from a record high of $75.35 a barrel touched on Monday. But losses were stil limited by concerns about key oil producers Iran and Nigeria.

London Brent crude was down 9 cents to $73.12, reversing the previous day's modest gain of 21 cents.

Gasoline prices led Tuesday's slump with a 2 percent fall as U.S.

President George W. Bush called for the Environmental Protection Agency to respond to requests for waivers that would allow suppliers to sell cheaper, lower-grade gasoline, potentially helping ease a summertime supply crunch.

May gasoline was up 9 points at $2.13 a gallon on Wednesday.

''The market is reacting the most to the gasoline waiver in Bush's outline, which is expected to increase the motor fuel supply in the States,'' said Naohiro Niimura, vice president at Mizuho Corporate Bank's derivatives units.

''But the geopolitical risks, which have triggered the recent bull run of the market, have not gone away at all.'' The waivers were part of a broader Bush plan to bring down soaring energy prices that threaten to curtail economic growth, including a call for states to crack down on price gouging and a temporary halt to deliveries to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

LOW STOCKS Analysts, however, were unimpressed by the move, which would only add about a third of 1 percent of daily U.S. crude demand to a market in which commercial inventories are already robust.

U.S. crude inventories were likely to have dipped by 100,000 barrels last week, but gasoline stocks -- which have fallen for seven weeks in a row -- were seen falling by a steep 2.6 million barrels, a Reuters survey found. S] The government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, due later on Wednesday, is also expected to show a 1.0 percentage point improvement in refinery operations.

U.S. Murphy Oil Corp. said on Tuesday that its 120,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Meraux refinery -- shut for more than seven months due to damage from Hurricane Katrina -- should begin to restart production from the first week of May.

Tension over Iran's nuclear programme mounted ahead of IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei's Friday report to the U.N. Security Council on its compliance with a demand to halt uranium enrichment.

Officials have said Tehran will not use its oil as a political weapon, but traders are still fearful the dispute could hit exports from the world's fourth-largest suppliers.

Also limiting losses, ExxonMobil boosted security at its 420,000-bpd Qua Iboe oil export terminal in Nigeria on Tuesday due to the threat of attack by militants.

Exports remained normal, the company said, although a quarter of the OPEC member's output operated mainly by Royal Dutch Shell has been shut in for more than two months due to militant attacks that analysts fear could last another year.

REUTERS CS KN0923 .13 a gallon on Wednesday.

''The market is reacting the most to the gasoline waiver in Bush's outline, which is expected to increase the motor fuel supply in the States,'' said Naohiro Niimura, vice president at Mizuho Corporate Bank's derivatives units.

''But the geopolitical risks, which have triggered the recent bull run of the market, have not gone away at all.'' The waivers were part of a broader Bush plan to bring down soaring energy prices that threaten to curtail economic growth, including a call for states to crack down on price gouging and a temporary halt to deliveries to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

LOW STOCKS Analysts, however, were unimpressed by the move, which would only add about a third of 1 percent of daily U.S. crude demand to a market in which commercial inventories are already robust.

U.S. crude inventories were likely to have dipped by 100,000 barrels last week, but gasoline stocks -- which have fallen for seven weeks in a row -- were seen falling by a steep 2.6 million barrels, a Reuters survey found. S] The government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, due later on Wednesday, is also expected to show a 1.0 percentage point improvement in refinery operations.

U.S. Murphy Oil Corp. said on Tuesday that its 120,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Meraux refinery -- shut for more than seven months due to damage from Hurricane Katrina -- should begin to restart production from the first week of May.

Tension over Iran's nuclear programme mounted ahead of IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei's Friday report to the U.N. Security Council on its compliance with a demand to halt uranium enrichment.

Officials have said Tehran will not use its oil as a political weapon, but traders are still fearful the dispute could hit exports from the world's fourth-largest suppliers.

Also limiting losses, ExxonMobil boosted security at its 420,000-bpd Qua Iboe oil export terminal in Nigeria on Tuesday due to the threat of attack by militants.

Exports remained normal, the company said, although a quarter of the OPEC member's output operated mainly by Royal Dutch Shell has been shut in for more than two months due to militant attacks that analysts fear could last another year.

REUTERS CS KN0923

For Daily Alerts

For Breaking News from Oneindia
Get instant news updates throughout the day.

Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more