Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Third Quarter Oil Price Drop Largest in 17 Years

Oil experienced one of its largest price swings in history during the third quarter as prices fluctuated within a range of $56 a barrel. From its record high of $147.27 a barrel on July 11, it went a low as $90.51 a barrel on September 16.

Overall in the quarter oil futures fell by 28 percent, the largest fall since 1991.

Along with the obvious economic factors which have slowed down oil demand, there is also the strengthening of the U.S. dollar during that period as well.

November delivery for crude oil fell to close to $40 during the quarter to settle at $100.64 at about 3:00 p.m on the NYMEX. That's the first time it has fallen in seven quarters. It went up by $4.27 in today's trading.

When you take into account OPEC announcing they're cutting production, and the two hurricanes recently hitting the south and disrupting oil flow, it's really an amazing event that the black liguid has stayed this low. Add the ongoing Nigerian attacks on their pipelines and rigs, along with the conflict between Russia and Georgia and it's even more astounding.

It seems like oil futures are completely driven by demand at this time, as according to Deutsche Bank the price of Oil for 2009 New York will probably drop by 23 percent to around $92.50 a barrel. At this time U.S. demand for petroleum has dropped about 4 percent from the same period last year.

Although gas prices increased by almost 9 cents today, overall its followed the decline in oil for the quarter, dropping by 11 percent to end at a nationwide average of $3.633 a gallon, according to AAA.

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