Oil rises in Asian trade as blizzard hits US

Oil rises in Asian trade as blizzard hits US

Singapore: Crude prices rose in Asian trade on Tuesday as temperatures fell and snow storms hit the US and other parts of North America, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, rose 24 cents to $91.24 per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for February delivery was up 18 cents to $94.03.

The massive blizzard that hit the US east coast Monday has reached eastern Canada, dumping huge amounts of snow and forcing the cancellation of flights.

“There will probably be more of such bad weather (in the US and Canada), and I expect oil prices to stay strong," said John Vautrain, vice president for Purvin and Gertz international energy consultants in Singapore.

Analysts say the cold weather spell will likely mean increased demand for heating oil.

“It’s not how cold it gets but how long it stays cold," said Jason Feer, vice president and general manager with energy market analysts Argus Media.

“It’s turning out to be a fairly long, cold winter and what that means is that people are burning lots of heating oil," he said.

The US is the world’s biggest oil consumer and its northeast region is the biggest heating oil market globally.