Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Energy prices continued to climb Feb. 11, temporarily spiking at a 1-month high of $94.72/bbl

Energy prices continued to climb Feb. 11, temporarily spiking at a 1-month high of $94.72/bbl in intraday trading, after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened over the weekend to stop selling oil to the US over a legal dispute with ExxonMobil Corp. 'Oil is up $5/bbl over the past 2 trading days…due to colder weather, a local refinery shut-in, and more importantly, fears of Venezuela's response to [ExxonMobil's] recent action to freeze $12 billion of oil assets. With Venezuela supplying a significant amount of US imports, further jawboning from Chavez should keep crude traders on edge,' said analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc. Valero Energy Corp. said Feb. 11 that power was restored and several main process units were restarted, including the crude unit, coker, and FCC, at its 210,000 b/d Delaware City refinery following a power outage due to severe weather. An investigation of the cause of the incident is under way, but the company said it did not expect any major effect on production.

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