Oil prices stable after Middle East ceasefire

17-08-2006

Crude oil prices have stabilised on global markets following the dips in value that greeted the end of violence between Israel and the Hizbullah militant group in southern Lebanon.

US crude hit a low of $72.60 a barrel in the hours after yesterday's ceasefire, which has largely been observed by both sides, now evening out at $72.97. Last month, oil prices in New York hit their highest-ever levels at $78.40.

Meanwhile in London, the price of Brent crude oil is at $74.17 after falling to $73.63 in the aftermath of the cessation of hostilities in the Middle East.

Traders have also reacted optimistically to BP's announcement that it no longer intends to close its Prudhoe Bay oilfield in Alaska following a series of leaks.

The energy giant now plans to keep the site operational while repairs are carried out. Prudhoe Bay contributes about one-tenth of the US' supply.

Oil prices have surged in recent months on the back of geo-political worries regarding the security of supply in Russia and Nigeria, and the continuing row between the west and Iran over its nuclear energy ambitions.


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