TheAge.com (Australia): Crude oil prices retreat in Asian trade: “oil prices are more than 80 per cent higher than a year ago”: “Adding to supply concerns, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group said its Nigerian output would be cut by 20,000 barrels a day due to a ruptured pipeline. While officials tried to investigate, a group of saboteurs set the pipeline on fire, Shell said in a statement.” (ShellNews.net)
October 13, 2004
Crude oil futures retreated from record levels of more than $US54 a barrel in early Asian trade, as traders nervously monitored developments in strike-hit Nigeria and recovery efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.
Crude for November delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $US0.16 from its overnight settlement to $US52.35 mid-morning in Asia.
Light, sweet crude had hit another all-time high of $US54.45.
While oil prices are more than 80 per cent higher than a year ago, they are still more than $US27 below the peak inflation-adjusted price reached in 1981.
Still, many market observers say prices will likely continue to skyrocket because of continuing supply concerns.
Excess capacity now hovers just about one per cent above the world's daily diet of 82 million barrels, and the Paris-based International Energy Agency, a watchdog for oil-consuming countries, said demand is expected to rise to close to 84 million barrels a day by 2005.
Adding to supply concerns, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group said its Nigerian output would be cut by 20,000 barrels a day due to a ruptured pipeline.
While officials tried to investigate, a group of saboteurs set the pipeline on fire, Shell said in a statement.
The production cuts comes in the middle of the oil workers' strike and a fragile peace deal between rebels and the government for control over the oil-rich Niger Delta that churns out 2.5 million barrels of crude daily.
Nigeria is Africa's largest exporter and the fifth-largest source of US imports.
Market players were on the sidelines awaiting the release of US crude inventory data.
The report is expected to provide a clue as to how well recovery efforts in the Gulf of Mexico oilfields, ravaged by Hurricane Ivan mid-September, are going.
© 2004 AP