"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Crude oil fell almost $2 a barrel, the biggest decline in two weeks, after the U.S. Energy Department reported an unexpected rise in inventories.
Crude oil for February delivery tumbled $1.46, or 3.2 percent, to $44.30 a barrel at 1:35 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude oil had traded as high as $45.95 a barrel in the moments before the inventory report.
Inventories of distillate fuels, which include heating oil and diesel, gained 600,000 barrels to 119.9 million last week, compared with the median of analysts' predictions that supplies would fall 1.13 million. Crude-oil imports increased 1.7 percent to 10.6 million barrels. Forecasts of warmer-than-normal weather in the eastern U.S. may slow demand for heating oil.
And then, this:
U.S. consumers will pay more to keep their visiting guests warm with home heating oil this Christmas, as the retail price for the fuel increased to almost $2 a gallon, the Energy Department said on Wednesday.
The national cost for heating oil jumped a nickel over the last week to an average $1.996 a gallon, up 51 cents from a year ago, according to a weekly survey by the Energy Information Administration.
Heating oil prices had declined during both of the prior two weeks, but a recent increase in crude oil costs and strong heating fuel demand on the East Coast due to a bitter cold snap helped push heating oil prices higher.
John Kerry might say that the Energy Department voted for higher heating oil prices before it voted against them.