Oil price drops to near $95 a barrel
Reported by: AP/UNB Connect
Reported on: Aug 17, 2012 01:09 pm
Reported in: Business
BANGKOK , AUGUST 17 (AP/UNB) - Oil prices fell after news reports suggested the U.S. might tap its strategic reserves to slow the rising price of oil.
Benchmark crude for September delivery was down 49 cents to $95.11 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.27 to finish at $95.60 per barrel in New York on Thursday.
Brent crude up $1.34 at $113.94 on the ICE futures exchange in London.
Analysts said oil prices did an about face after three days of gains following reports that the U.S. was gearing up for a move to keep a lid on prices.
"Overnight the trigger for the weakness was, potentially, news reports that the U.S. will consider releasing strategic petroleum reserves, and that seems to be weighing on the market," said Nick Trevethan, senior commodities strategist at ANZ Research in Singapore.
Oil trader Stephen Schork suggested in a market commentary that the Obama administration might be looking for a way to keep oil prices from skyrocketing. Obama is running for re-election in a bruising presidential contest.
Schork said that while oil prices were "bullish as ever ... with each dollar increase in oil, you have to figure the odds shorten that the White House will step into the fray."
In other energy futures trading, gasoline was down 3.3 cents at $3.05 a gallon and heating oil was off 2.5 cents at $3.10 a gallon. Natural gas was steady at $2.74 per 1,000 cubic feet.