13 febrero 2007

Oil Prices Stage Recovery

Cold weather covering much of the U.S. during the week of Feb. 9 has some analysts anticipating large withdrawals from distillate and natural gas inventories. The National Weather Service is forecasting warmer weather for the remaining winter months. This would reduce heating demand in the U.S., making it difficult for crude prices to climb past the $60 level.

At the same time, growing demand in emerging markets is preventing the price of oil from falling very far. A report released Tuesday by the International Energy Agency stated that fourth-quarter global demand for oil was 1.3 million barrels per day higher than a year earlier despite a milder-than-normal start to winter.

The IEA revised its figures for 2006 upward by 111,000 barrels of oil per day to 84.5 million barrels. It also raised its estimates for 2007 by 273,000 barrels.

Higher expected demand for oil in China was primarily responsible for the revisions, according to the IEA Web site.

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