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Oil prices drop as much as $1 per barrel [View All]

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CShine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-04 06:10 PM
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Oil prices drop as much as $1 per barrel
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WASHINGTON -- Oil prices fell as much as $1 per barrel Friday after Saudi Arabia said it will push OPEC to raise its daily production quota by 2 million barrels, or 8.5 percent, in order to calm jittery energy markets and protect global economic growth.

Saudi oil minister Ali Naimi, who had called for a smaller production increase just two weeks ago, said the new target was decided upon after reviewing updated projections for supply and demand. Naimi also announced that the Saudis have agreed to pump an additional 500,000 barrels of crude per day, beginning in June.

Analysts said the Saudi plan would have little immediate effect on retail gasoline prices in the United States, where motorists are paying more than $2 a gallon, on average.

"It will take 45 days for the additional crude to make its way to the U.S. and by then it's mid July and the gasoline season is already over," said Tom Bentz, an analyst at BNP Paribas Commodity Futures in New York. However, "the markets have to respect that the Saudis are trying to make a stand to prevent the prices from rising further," Bentz said.
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