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Commodity Corner: Crude Oil Price, Natural Gas Inventories Hit New Highs
Crude oil for December delivery surged to $88.21 a barrel Wednesday before settling at $87.81. The day's peak oil futures price, a two year high, followed a U.S. Department of Energy report showing that commercial crude inventories fell by 0.9 percent last week. According to the department's Energy Information Administration, oil stocks had declined to 364.9 million barrels as of last Friday 3.3 million barrels lower than the previous week's figure. The most recent number represents the first decline in crude stocks that EIA has reported in the past four weeks. December crude oil bottomed out at $86.10.
Natural gas futures, meanwhile, fell 3.8 percent after the EIA reported that U.S. natural gas inventories rose to record territory last week. December natural gas settled at $4.05 per thousand cubic feet, a 16 cent drop from Tuesday, after trading within a range from $4.06 to $4.25. According to EIA, the amount of natural gas in storage hit 3,840 billion cubic feet (Bcf) as of November 5. The 19 Bcf net injection week-on-week propelled the inventory statistic to a new all time record. In addition, the figure is approximately 10 percent higher than the five year (2005-2009) average. The December gasoline futures price ended the day at $2.24 a gallon, slightly more than a nickel higher than Tuesday's settlement. Gasoline traded from $2.18 to $2.25.