Oil Futures Slump

Oil futures slumped in New York as concern mounted that rising stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, will leave little room to store supplies for delivery next year.

Crude oil stockpiles at Cushing, where oil that’s traded on in New York is delivered, climbed 21 percent to 27.5 million barrels last week, the highest since May 2007, the government said in a report on Dec. 17. OPEC’s biggest production cut in more than a decade this week has failed to stop the slump in prices as the deepening global recession saps demand.

Crude oil for delivery in January fell as much as 7.7% to $33.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract expires today.

The more active February contract fell as much as 32 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $41.35 a barrel. It traded at $41.79 a barrel at 12:18 a.m. London time.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which pumps 40 percent of the world’s oil, agreed on Dec. 17 to cut output by 2.46 million barrels a day starting on Jan. 1. Still, prices have slumped 37 percent this month and are headed for the second biggest decline in more than five years.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
12/19/2008 5:34:22 AM