Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oil Drops From Five-Week High As Russia, Ukraine Reach Accord

LONDON, England -- Crude oil fell from near a five-week high as Russia reached an agreement with Ukraine on oil exports to Europe, allaying concerns of a supply disruption.

Russia agreed to pay 30 percent more to transport oil to Europe via Ukraine next year, according to Ukrainian state energy company NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy. Crude climbed to a five- week high yesterday as Iran, holder of the second-largest oil reserves, continued a crackdown on political protests.

“This takes one of the geopolitical risks off the table, I assume there’s not going to be a disruption in Russian flows to Europe,” said Olivier Jakob, managing director of Petromatrix GmbH in Zug, Switzerland. “If prices are still $78 to $80 at the start of next week there should be some downward pressure as stocks are so plentiful.”

Crude oil for February delivery declined as much as 50 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $78.27 a barrel, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $78.69 at 12:55 p.m. London time. Oil gained 72 cents to $78.77 yesterday, the highest close since Nov. 18.

Futures have advanced 77 percent this year and tripled in the past decade.

Brent crude for February settlement was at $77.31 a barrel, down 1 cent, on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at 12:55 p.m. local time. It rose $1.01, or 1.3 percent yesterday, to $77.32 a barrel.

Source: Bloomberg

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