Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 12th 2013 Contents A17
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The price of oil retreated below
US$105 a barrel yesterday, ending
a surge that had pushed crude to
a 16-month high.
The pullback followed a report
from the International Energy
Agency that said supplies would
exceed an expected rise in demand
US benchmark crude fell US$1.61
to close at US$104.91. Brent crude,
which is used to price imported
crude used by many US refineries,
fell 78 cents to US$107.73.
Oil has shot higher in recent days
on a dramatic drop in supplies of
oil and gasoline in the US. The
decline suggests that demand may
be rising. Crude rose as high as
US$107.45 early yesterday---the
highest since March of last year---
before falling back in later trading.
Analysts noted that even as prices
were rising, global supplies remained
ample and world demand, while
growing, was moderate.
"The (US crude) market has
become overcooked," analyst Jim
Ritterbusch, of Ritterbusch & Asso-
ciates, wrote in a report yesterday.
Oil extended its recent rise
Wednesday after the Energy Depart-
ment said US crude supplies fell by
9.9 million barrels in the week ended
July 5. Gasoline supplies fell by 2.6
million barrels. In the past two
weeks, oil supplies have dropped
20.2 million barrels, which is slightly
more than one day s consumption
for the US Gasoline supplies have
fallen 4.3 million barrels.
The supply drop, along with con-
tinued concerns that political
upheaval in the Middle East could
disrupt deliveries, had sent the price
of oil up by US$11 per barrel in two
The supply drop is also pushing
US retail gasoline prices higher, end-
ing what had been a long, gradual
decline in pump prices. The national
average price of a gallon of gasoline
rose two cents yesterday to US$3.52
per gallon. It marked the third
straight day of increases, though the
average is 11 cents lower than it was
a month ago.
More price increases at the pump
are expected in the coming days as
higher crude prices and wholesale
gasoline prices translate to higher
But yesterday s crude pullback
may limit the jump in gasoline
prices. Despite the supply drop in
the US, oil and gasoline inventories
remain above their five-year aver-
"There is little evidence that the
stronger US economy is leading to
a recovery in US oil demand," said
commodities analyst Caroline Bain
of the Economist Intelligence Unit.
If the geopolitical risk from Egypt
and the Middle East were to fade,
"there will be few pillars of support
for the oil market in the second half
of this year," she said.
On a similar note, the Paris-based
IEA said expectations that forecasts
for 2014 should give those betting
on rising oil prices "some cause for
The IEA expects supply growth
to result in an additional 1.3 million
barrels of oil a day in 2014, while
global demand is seen growing by
just 1.2 million barrels a day next
"Non-OPEC supply growth looks
on track to hit a 20-year record next
year," the IEA said Thursday in its
latest monthly oil market report.
"While demand growth is also fore-
cast to pick up momentum ... this
will still fall short of forecast non-
OPEC supply growth."
The IEA pointed to growing oil
production in the United States and
Canada as the key source of the
"North American supplies are set
to grow strongly, outpacing declines
elsewhere," the IEA said.
In other energy futures trading
• Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to
settle at US$3.02 a gallon.
• Natural gas fell 7 cents to settle
at US$3.61 per 1,000 cubic feet.
• Heating oil remained unchanged,
settling at US$3.00 a gallon.
National Gas Company (NGC) has
declared an after-tax profit of $3.9
billion for the year ending December
31, 2012, according to an advertise-
ment published in yesterday s Busi-
Last year s profit was down slightly
from the $4.6 billion the company re-
ported in 2011.
The company, which is 100 per cent
owned by the State, declared sales of
$18.4 billion in 2012, compared with
$18.9 billion in 2011.
NGC generated over $5 billion in
cash in 2012 and at the end of last year
had $12.3 billion in cash and cash
equivalents. The company generated
$4.2 billion from its operating activi-
ties and $2.5 billion from its invest-
ments in Atlantic LNG and Phoenix
Park Gas Processors, the natural gas
At the end of 2012, NGC estimated
that its total assets were $38 billion,
while its liabilities amounted to just
over $12 billion, leaving the company
with equity totaling nearly $26 billion.
NGC declares $3.9b in profits for 2012
Oil falls below US$105
...After recent spike in prices
Trader Peter Iocolano, centre, works in the oil options pit at the New York
Mercantile Exchange last week during a price surge that eventually pushed
crude to a 16-month high. AP PHOTO
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