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Gas prices - May 26

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Stage set for $US80 oil prices

Reuters via Sydney Morning Herald
Global oil prices could easily rally to record levels above $US80 a barrel this European summer, analysts forecast on Thursday, due to Middle East tensions, red hot Chinese growth and a reluctant OPEC.

...One significant change since last summer has been OPEC's decision to curb supplies by 1.7 million barrels per day, or about six percent.

"The world needs more oil than OPEC seems willing to supply, making it difficult to avoid another surge in oil prices over the coming summer," the Centre for Global Energy Studies said in its monthly report.

Consumer nations have called on OPEC, source of more than a third of the world's oil, to pump more crude to help ease prices and replenish fuel stocks. But oil ministers insist crude supplies are adequate.

..."This time around you need a really big price spike to really damage demand because people's budgets have adjusted and they have gotten used to it," said Jeffrey Currie, analyst at Goldman Sachs investment bank.
(25 May 2007)

OPEC official sees no need for more crude

Alex Lawler, Reuters
LONDON - Crude oil supply does not need to increase because rising prices reflect bottlenecks in gasoline supply, OPEC's head of research said on Friday, despite calls from consumers for more crude.

"I think that pumping more crude into the market is not needed," Hasan Qabazard, head of OPEC's research division, told Reuters. "We have a bottleneck in the supply chain and the bottleneck is the refineries producing gasoline for the summer."
(25 May 2007)

Oil industry preps for Gulf storm season

AP via CNN Money
If you think gasoline prices are high now, consider the eye-popping possibilities if another monster storm pummels the Gulf of Mexico this hurricane season, the way Katrina and Rita battered the petroleum-rich waters in 2005.

The petroleum industry has spent nearly two years trying to repair the damage from those historic Gulf hurricanes, rebuilding the complex web of platforms, pipelines and refineries in a region that produces roughly 25 percent of the nation's oil and 15 percent of its natural gas.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said this week it expects a busy hurricane season, forecasting 13 to 17 tropical storms, up to 10 of which could become hurricanes. That's higher than the 10 or so storms and hurricanes that form in an average year.
(25 May 2007)

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