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Petroleum prices Market watch

HOUSTON, Nov. 28 -- Energy futures prices improved in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday.
The January contract for light, sweet crude rose 79 to rest at $19.48/bbl, while the February contract rose 76 to close at $19.64/bbl. In after-hours electronic access trading in New York today, the January contract was getting $19.40/bbl, and the February contract was getting $19.48 for the February contract.
Refined petroleum products also closed higher, with December home heating oil gaining 1.77 to finish at 53.94/gal, while unleaded gasoline for the same month increased by 1.64 to settle at 53.81/gal.
NYMEX natural gas for December delivery fell 90 to $2.606/Mcf.
Meanwhile, in London Tuesday, North Sea Brent crude oil futures also rose in late trading on the International Petroleum Exchange.
Brokers said the market was nervous about the renewal of Iraq's United Nations-administered oil-for-aid program, the latest phase of which expires at the end of this week. In July, Iraq, miffed about US and UK attempts to alter the program terms, suspended exports for a month.
On Tuesday, IPE January Brent settled at $19.02/bbl, up by 66 from the previous close. The day's high was $19.22 and the low $18.15.
Also on the IPE, the December contract for natural gas rose 1.7 to close at the equivalent of $3.56/Mcf.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of seven crudes stood at $17.60/bbl Tuesday, compared with $17.35 the previous day.
Though in the short term worries about Iraq's 2 million b/d of production may nudge prices upward, in the long term excess production could cause prices to drop sharply, said OPEC Conference Pres. Chakib Khelil.
The Algerian energy and mines minister said prices could fall below $10/bbl, unless a production cut agreement was worked out with non-OPEC producers.
He stressed that in the absence of such an agreement, conditions in the international oil market would worsen, which would lead to very low oil prices, especially during the second quarter of 2002.
But he insisted that OPEC would not reduce its production unless non-OPEC producers followed suit.
Petroleum ($/bbl) Price Change
arrow Nymex Crude 19.42 -0.06
arrow IPE Crude 18.85 -0.17
arrow Dated Brent $ 18.81 -0.41
arrow WTI Cushing $ 19.11 -0.37
arrow Nymex Heating oil 53.40 -0.54
arrow Nymex Gasoline 53.60 -0.21
Natural Gas ($/MMBtu) Price Change
arrow Nymex Henry Hub 2.62 0.01
arrow Henry Hub $ 2.28 0.38
arrow Chicago City Gate $ 2.40 0.20
Electricity ($/megawatt hour) Price Change
arrow COB, firm on-peak $ 31.46 2.35
arrow Palo Verde, firm on-peak $ 31.39 2.59
arrow Cinergy, firm on-peak $ 18.50 0.05


$ = CASH
Prices are delayed; change based on previous close.


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