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Oil rises slightly as Gulf waterway closes



The price of oil edged higher Monday as traders waited to see how long a key transit route in the Gulf would be closed following an oil spill there.

Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery rose 14 cents to close at $99.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, slipped 11 cents to $106.81 a barrel

On Saturday, a barge carrying about 900,000 gallons of heavy oil collided with a ship in the Houston Ship Channel, spilling as much as 168,000 gallons into one of the world's busiest waterways. More than 80 ships have been forced to wait to enter or leave the bay.

Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates, said the oil prices could shoot higher if the waterway isn't open by the end of the week.

Soft Chinese economic data kept a lid on prices Monday. The preliminary version of HSBC's purchasing managers' index for China showed manufacturing dropped to an eight-month low, while factory output shrank at the fastest pace in 18 months.

Some investors bet the data would spur China to introduce economic stimulus measures to prevent a deeper slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

- Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to $2.89 a gallon.

- Heating oil dropped 1 cent to $2.91 a gallon.

- Natural gas lost 4 cents to $4.28 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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Bubba March 25 2014 at 3:05 AM

If you don't believe that the numerous excuses that Obama and his curent administration use to keep prices of oil products high are not part of their overall game plan to make-over this country into a third-rate power, then you are very, very wrong. This accident is one that would be a very minor blip is Obama would approve the oil and jobs that come with Keystone XL, or would approve the many licenses that reamin pending. The U.S. could produce much more oil and gas that would off-set dictatorships that hold the world hostage, if Obama would provide Leadership. However, that doesn't fit his efforts to turn us into a more managable nation, one-among-many, who is not thrust in leadership roles. Situations like the Russians holding Europe hostage to their oil production are a result of these policies. Obama's presidency will go down as one of the very worst in our history.

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littlebuck1106 March 24 2014 at 11:27 PM

MORE BULLSHIT FROM OUR GOVERMENT !!!!!!!!!!

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sharon March 24 2014 at 11:13 PM

,Any excuse will do to get the price up over four dollars this summer. As if that amount of fuel spread over the whole US will make that much difference. But it sure will pollute an ocean already fouled by the last one. Plus we get to pay for the cleanup and their stupidity

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cali1cali March 24 2014 at 10:52 PM

And of course we, the gas consumers, are the ones who have to pay for their wrong doings. Its not us who decided to ignore a huge F***ing ship aimed right at each other that then turned into a serious game of bumper cars.

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microflight5 March 24 2014 at 10:41 PM

WE SHOULD GET THE OIL /GAS FOR FREE FOR SO MUCH STUPIDITY AND INCOMPETENCE IS A BIG ASS OCEAN TO BE HAVING ACCIDENTS AND STOP HIRING DRUNKS AND CRACKHEAD SHIP MATES

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jim March 24 2014 at 9:45 PM

Why don't these clowns, the oil company's take the hit for this mess instead of the consumer for their own mistakes? Instead it gives them the reason to screw us even more & another reason to jack up the prices. They can't get their annual 100 million or more bonus every year. They , the oil co.'s have been buying up the coal, natural gas, solar co.'s for decades. They plan on owning our asses for decades if not centuries in every power system out there , even nuclear power. Now there is a conglomerate that s/b broken up if I ever saw one. A.T & T was broken up about 3 decades ago, the service was great, the price was ok & after the breakup , you paid 3 times the price for everything & the service sucked. You tell me who got the back door payoff on this one. No matter which way you turn, we the consumer gets screwed & our non- existant gov't does absolutely nothing to protect us.

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flyingfortresb17 March 24 2014 at 8:07 PM

The traders are a bunch of greedy mosquito buzzing around a unprotected arm in the summer. They rise to anything that might remotely cause fuel prices up.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
blackcoffeeparty March 24 2014 at 7:58 PM

Let's see, there have been a number of explosions at B.P. facilities in Texas City and the price of gas went up afterwards each time. What makes it a surprise that the price of oil goes up after this latest "accident"?

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rpersuhn March 24 2014 at 7:57 PM

Any reason to raise the price.

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dvc2042 March 24 2014 at 7:35 PM

Hey big oil companies---My car leaks a bit of oil each day--Does that qualify for a price increase??

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1 reply
tish232 dvc2042 March 24 2014 at 8:06 PM

They don't need any help , they come up with enough reasons...not all valid of course, but hey, they are just in it for the money anyhow.

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