Oil prices below $48 a barrel

On expectations that US oil supplies will continue to grow and that heating oil inventories will be adequate this winter, &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/diplomatic/2001/08/23/13127.html ' target=_blank>crude oil prices fell below $48 a barrel on Tuesday.

Light crude for December delivery was 94 cents lower at $48.15 per barrel in early afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, rebounding from an intraday low of $47.75. While &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/368/14250_Chavez.html ' target=_blank>oil prices are 13 percent below the record Nymex settlement price of $55.17 set late last month and the near-term trend lines point to further declines, analysts said it is too soon to definitively say the worst is over for fuel-hungry motorists, homeowners and businesses, Forbes informed.

"We're getting 10 million barrels a day of imports with regularity, so inventories should do nothing but increase," said John Kilduff, senior vice president of energy risk management at Fimat USA Inc. in New York. "The longer-term forecasts are showing that temperature will rise, which should" reduce demand for heating oil.

In London, the December Brent crude-oil futures contract fell $2.21, or 4.8 percent, to $43.71 a barrel on the International Petroleum Exchange, the lowest closing price since Sept. 21. Brent futures touched $51.95 on Oct. 27, the highest since the contract began trading in 1988, reports Bloomberg.

According to the CBC News, in Iraq, &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2003/01/05/41651.html ' target=_blank>U.S. forces are pounding the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah in what is expected to be a drawn-out assault to weed out Islamic extremists. Militants have vowed to disrupt Iraq's badly needed oil exports, and a northern pipeline already has been knocked out by saboteurs.

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