Oil Rises


Crude oil rose on speculation that a U.S. economic stimulus plan and financial rescue package may revive demand in the world’s largest energy-consuming country.

Congress is seeking to complete work on a $827 billion package so that it can be sent to President Barack Obama by the end of the week. The Senate plan would funnel about $655 billion into the U.S. economy, the Congressional Budget Office said yesterday. Later today, the government will unveil the details of a $700 billion financial rescue program.

Crude oil for March delivery gained as much as $1.45, or 3.7 percent, to $41.01 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $40.99 a barrel at 12:34 p.m. London time.

Yesterday, futures fell 61 cents, or 1.5 percent, to settle at $39.56 a barrel in New York. Oil is down 7.9 percent this year and 56 percent from a year ago.

The price of oil for delivery in April is almost $6 a barrel higher than for March. December futures are up more than $15 from the front month. This structure, in which the future month’s price is higher than the one before it, is known as contango, and is often an indicator of oversupply.

Crude supplies probably climbed 2.5 million barrels last week, according to the median of seven analyst estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Gasoline supplies probably rose 625,000 barrels. U.S. fuel use has declined in the past year as the economy contracted.

The Energy Department is scheduled to release its weekly inventory report tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. in Washington.

Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, where oil traded on Nymex is stored, climbed 2.5 percent to 34.3 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 30, the highest since at least April 2004, when the department began keeping records for the location.

Brent crude oil for March settlement rose as much as $1.69, or 3.7 percent, to $47.71 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was at $47.70 a barrel at 12:36 p.m. local time.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has complied with about 80 percent of the 4.2 million barrels a day of production cuts it announced and has 900,000 barrels left to go, Secretary-General Abdalla el-Badri told reporters in London yesterday. That’s left the group with about 8 million barrels of shut-in capacity.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
2/10/2009 5:35:37 AM