Oil prices continued their rise above $64 a barrel today while natural gas futures dropped due to a mild start to winter in the United States. Gasoline prices also eased but analysts felt that relatively mild U.S. temperatures would keep demand high and stock tight.
Light, sweet crude for delivery next month on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 30 cents to $64.51 a barrel by afternoon in Europe. The contract gained $1.42 on Friday. Brent crude climbed by 39 cents to $63.11 on London’s ICE Futures exchange, while heating oil advanced to $1.8050 a gallon and gasoline slipped to $1.81401 a gallon.
Earlier in the day crude prices had fallen to a low of $63.96, which some analysts said was likely a correction of the previous week’s sharp rise as the market remained amply supplied with crude. The outlook remained bullish, boosted by recent threats to supply, such as the natural gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine. This was caused by Russia cutting pipeline runs that raised fears about the stability of global supplies. The Ukraine and Russia reached an agreement to end their gas dispute.
Investors and speculators were pouring money into the market out of faith that demand will keep rising and the possibility of energy supply disruptions from Iraq and Nigeria won’t fade soon, according to analysts.