Crude oil price sets record high

June 17, 2005 at 4:48 PM
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NEW YORK, June 17 (UPI) -- The cost of light,low-sulfur crude oil reached a new high Friday when it closed on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $58.47 per barrel.

Earlier in the session it was even higher as traders worried about tight world refining capacity in an environment where the world's oil cartel is producing at or near capacity.

The old record had been $58.28.

In London, traders bid up the price of comparable crude and also set a record, reaching $57.76 for August delivery, the Wall Street Journal said.

"There are several factors driving prices upward, most notably continued high global demand, constraint on OPEC's surplus production capacity and fears of limited refinery capacity converting heavy crude into light products," said Muhammad-Ali Zainy, senior energy analyst with the Center for Global Energy Studies in London.

"Instability in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, are serious additive factors," Zainy said.

Gasoline futures for July delivery also jumped Friday, selling in New York for $1.6471 per gallon. Heating oil also climbed sharply, changing hands for $1.6518 per gallon.

Meanwhile, natural gas moved up to $7.69 per million Btu.

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