Oil prices plateau after recent climbs

OIL prices took a breather this week after Iran said it had no plans to cut exports and the US inventory showed a rise in supplies of distillates.
Oil prices plateau after recent climbs Oil prices plateau after recent climbs Oil prices plateau after recent climbs Oil prices plateau after recent climbs Oil prices plateau after recent climbs

New York's West Texas Intermediate spiked to a record high of $US126.98 per barrel on Tuesday after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country, the second-largest crude producer in the Persian Gulf, would decrease oil production next month.

However, Reuters quoted a senior official at the National Iranian Oil Company, Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, as saying Iran had no plans to cut exports to world markets.

WTI closed at $US124.25 yesterday while Singapore's Tapis closed at $US129.08.

Data from the US Energy Information Administration showed a higher than forecast 1.4 million barrel rise in distillate stocks, more than offsetting concerns about global distillate supplies amid signs of rising diesel demand for power generation in Europe and Asia.

Concerns over tightening inventories were also eased by a jump in refinery utilisation from 85% to 86.6% last week.

Prices were unaffected by an oil pipeline explosion in Nigeria, which the Red Cross said killed about 100 people in a northern suburb of Lagos.

While oil infrastructure in Nigeria's Delta region is regularly sabotaged by militants, the latest incident appeared to have been caused accidentally by a road construction crew.

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