Entries in Oil Barrels (4)


Oil Prices Rise: Good Sign for Global Economy?

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If oil prices are any indicator, the global economy could be making a turn for the better.

Crude oil rose to a three-month high on Friday, now hovering around $98 a barrel.  Moreover, crude is up 30 percent in a little more than a month.

The stronger demand for energy is a key economic indicator.  Investors are growing more hopeful that Europe will be able to keep its debt problems from creating an international crisis.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Along with Stocks, Crude Oil Prices Are Also in Freefall

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Just two weeks ago, oil prices were headed upward, to more than $100 a barrel for crude.  But by the end of the day Monday, the price of oil was down to about $81 a barrel and could fall lower than that.

The downgrading of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor's, fears of another recession and volatile world markets have sent oil prices plummeting.  Ironically, major forecasting agencies were predicting an upswing of prices due to global demand surpassing supplies.

In one sense, falling oil prices are bad because they reflect a world economy in crisis.  On the other hand, it might mean that motorists in the U.S. could soon be paying a lot less for gasoline, provided they have any money left to spend once Wall Street is done tanking.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Global Oil Prices Dropping; US Stock Futures Up After Strong Week

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Global oil is seeing a drop in prices Monday amid news that rebel forces in Libya are making gains.

West Texas crude futures fell to $105 a barrel overnight as Libyan rebels reportedly took control of at least two oil ports.  Their leaders say oil production will be resumed in the country soon.

Meanwhile, European and U.S. stock futures are up Monday morning after strong gains the week before.  Last week, the Dow and other averages saw their strongest weekly gain -- around three percent -- since last July.

The Asian stock market, however, is trending lower with more concerns about the dangerous radiation leak from Japan's cripped nuclear power plant.  Japanese automakers and other industries in the country are also still facing a huge challenge with rolling power blackouts and some parts suppliers knocked out by the earthquake.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Unlikely to Tap into Strategic Oil Reserves, Experts Say

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- With gasoline prices soaring fast, there has been some talk by the Obama administration to tap into the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help ease some of the pain at the pump.

But most fuel analysts say it's not worth the effort, even as prices have zoomed up 40 cents a gallon in the past month because of unrest in the Middle East and northern Africa.

White House chief of staff Bill Daley has talked about releasing just over four million barrels from the reserve, which is currently at its capacity of 727 million barrels.

While four million sounds impressive, it's not.  That's the equivalent of what U.S. motorists use in just a half a day of driving.

There are reasons to leave the Strategic Petroleum Reserve alone.  Analysts explain that crude stockpiles are now above their four-year average and there's not been steep decline in oil imports, despite all the problems in Libya and elsewhere.

Still, futures traders are exploiting the crisis anyway, sending the price of crude well past $100 per barrel, which ultimately affects what we all pay at the pump.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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