Crude Oil Prices Continue to Creep Up

    April 21, 2005

Crude oil futures headed back up after dropping to $53 to $54.20 a barrel. All indicators show that oil supplies remain high and while the U.S. showed a drop in yesterday’s report, OPEC is still pumping near full steam.

Gasoline also climbed to $1.62 when a Louisiana refinery, down for repairs for over week still hasn’t come back online and yesterday’s government report showing gasoline stocks in the U.S. were down over a million barrels. With prices at the pump still high, U.S. gas consumption shows no signs of slowing down.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Thursday that the ability of the OPEC to control prices had been weakened by the growing influence of big-money funds and by refinery bottlenecks in consuming nations.

“Despite our best efforts, Saudi Arabia and OPEC have had little ability to curb the rapid rise in prices,” he said.

China said earlier this week their crude imports were up almost 5 million barrels for the month of March from the month prior and almost 25% from March of last year.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.