WASHINGTON- Crude oil prices rose almost 3 percent Tuesday on concerns that last month”s sharp drop in gasoline demand would be temporary and that the supply of transportation and home-heating fuels would remain tight well into 2006, AP reported.
The IEA report mirrored the thinking of some Wall Street analysts who have raised questions about recent Energy Department data showing a 2.6 percent decline in gasoline demand over the past month.
Energy futures prices have fallen from the highs reached immediately after the hurricanes, but there are still considerable bottlenecks in the Gulf Coast”s output of oil,natural gas and gasoline.
While refineries along the Gulf Coast are slowly returning to service, plants accounting for almost 3 million barrels per day of gasoline, heating oil and jet fuel production remain shut or are operating at reduced rates. And, as of Tuesday, 70 percent of weather-related outages that began with Hurricane Ivan last year. This year, Hurricane Katrina sent crude surging to a nominal record of $70.85 on Aug. 30 when the storm made landfall.