Political, refinery problems send crude higher
Crude oil prices were higher Friday after the US Labor Department issued new data showing that 166,000 jobs were created in October in the US and the unemployment rate held at 4.7 percent and after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the US would help Turkey in its fight against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.
In addition, the British Foreign Office reported that the UN Security Council will draft a new resolution on sanctions against Iran that could be voted on this month if Iran continues to balk at cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency over Iran’s uranium enrichment activities.
Refinery problems were also at issue in England and in Mississippi due to fire damage.
These issues plus reports that Hurricane Noel might have disrupted oil shipments during the week sent December contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude $2.44 to $95.93 per barrel after going as high as $96.05 per barrel earlier in the session, just short of the record high price set on Thursday.
Nymex December gasoline was up 10 cents to $2.42 per gallon, while December heating oil gained 6 cents to $2.57 per gallon.
December natural gas, however, dropped 22 cents to $8.42 per million British thermal units.
At-the-pump gasoline prices in the US averaged $2.942 per gallon nationwide, a gain of 2.9 cents per gallon overnight.
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