Crude oil futures prices settled 1.3% lower Wednesday, hit by a steep fall drop in U.S. oil demand and a sharp rise in fuel stockpiles. Prices ended at the lowest level so far in 2012, but were supported above $100 a barrel by growing concerns about the reliability of near term crude oil supply from Iran and Nigeria.
A Nigerian union leader said Wednesday that workers at oil platforms are on "red alert" and ready to shut down facilities in a growing national strike that erupted in response to soaring fuel costs after the government abruptly halted a $7 billion fuel subsidies program. Nigeria pumped 2.2 million barrels a day in December, according to U.S. estimates, and supplied 9% of U.S. crude oil imports in the first 10 months of 2011.
Meantime, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Wednesday urged top Chinese officials to significantly reduce imports of Iranian crude, after a new U.S. sanctions policy focused on nations that continue trading with Iran. Countries can avoid those sanctions by showing a significant reduction in Iranian oil imports.....Read the entire Rigzone article.
Could Crude Oil Prices Intensify a Pending SP 500 Sell Off?