Oil surpasses $62 a barrel

Budapest, August 3:

US refinery outages and forecasts of a higher number of storms in the Gulf of Mexico boosted oil prices today, with crude futures surpassing $62 and trading near their record highs. Traders said prices were likely to hold steady ahead of the US department of energy weekly inventories snapshot.

The report is expected to show declines in crude and gasoline stocks but a rise in distillates, which include heating oil, diesel and jet fuel. “If we see a lower than two million barrel distillate build, market could go crazy again with prices heading for $65,” said Deborah White, energy analyst at SG Securities in Paris, “Given the significant amount of products we have lost because of refinery problems, there is no way prices could go down.”

Light sweet crude for September delivery posted $62.06 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract had settled in New York at $61.89 a barrel, the highest ever since trading began on the Nymex in 1983.