Oil Falls From Record $100.10


Crude oil fell from a record $100.10 a barrel in New York on speculation that a U.S. Energy Department report will show stockpiles rose for a sixth week.

Supplies probably gained 2.28 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 15 from 301.1 million barrels, according to the median of responses in a Bloomberg survey. Inventories will rise as refiners are closed for repairs and upgrades as U.S. heating- fuel use slows and before warmer weather spurs an increase in gasoline demand.

Crude oil for March delivery dropped as much as 90 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $99.11 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It traded at $99.34 at 9:44 p.m. in Singapore.

Yesterday, futures soared $4.51, or 4.7 percent, to settle at $100.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was a record closing price and the first time Nymex futures have closed above $100 a barrel. Futures reached $100.10, the highest intraday price since trading began in 1983.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, set to meet on March 5, may cut output as winter heating demand wanes, oil ministers from Algeria and Iran said in the past week. Oil also rose as a weakening dollar prompted some traders to invest in commodities as a hedge against inflation.

The record was the third time oil has reached $100. Oil rose to a then-record $100.09 a barrel in New York on Jan. 3, a day after touching $100 for the first time on militant attacks in Nigeria, Africa's biggest producer.

March crude-oil futures will expire at the end of trading today. The Energy Department report will be released on Feb. 21 at 10:30 a.m. in Washington, a day later than usual because of the President's Day holiday on Feb. 18.

Brent crude for April settlement fell as much as 79 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $97.77 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was at $97.93 at 9:44 a.m. Singapore time.

The contract closed yesterday at a record $98.56 a barrel, up 3.9 percent.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
2/19/2008 6:31:51 PM