Singapore: Oil prices rose on 15 August, on concerns over a tropical storm building in the Atlantic and the potential danger posed to US energy facilities, dealers said.
At 10:20am (0750 IST), New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for September delivery gained 37 cents to $72.75 a barrel from $72.38 the previous day .
Brent North Sea crude for September delivery rose 35 cents to $70.86.
“The oil market went from worrying about the swirling financial storm to worrying about the development of a potential tropical storm,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst with Alaron financial firm.
“Any storm that slows refining and production will not be welcome.”
Opec’s estimates of stronger global oil demand in 2007 was also keeping prices firmer, dealers said.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in a monthly report on 14 August that world oil demand growth in 2007 was forecast at 1.3 million barrels a day, or 1.5%.
That was “slightly higher” than the estimate given last month and reflected “additional oil needs for Japanese power plants,” the Opec report said.
However, Opec noted that “over the last four weeks, prices for (New York) crude oil have exhibited extreme volatility,” as the world economy has experienced stock market and other economic fluctuations.
“There is no doubt that the above uncertainties have clouded the outlook for oil demand,” Opec said.