Commodity Corner: OPEC Mulls Output Boost, Oil Declines
Crude prices retreated from a 29-month high Tuesday after Kuwait's oil minister said that the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) were contemplating a production boost due to the disruption of oil supply in Libya. Other OPEC members claim that there is currently a sufficient supply of oil in the markets and there isn't a need for a special meeting.
Meanwhile, investment bank Goldman Sachs has increased its forecast for oil prices claiming Saudi Arabia has used up most of its excess capacity.
Light, sweet crude lost 42 cents Tuesday on rumors that Colonel Moammar Gadhafi may be stepping down. Oil prices settled at $105.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Also pressuring crude prices was the possibility of a Western military intervention in Libya. Additionally, the Obama administration has said it may tap into the U.S.'s 727-million-barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve to suppress growing gasoline prices.
The intraday range for gasoline was $103.33 to $105.79 Tuesday.
Natural gas for April delivery settled at $3.86 per thousand cubic feet, 6.3 cents lower on mild weather forecasts. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) lowered its supply forecast by 1.6% for 2011. The department reported the decline to be a result of fewer residential and commercial users. Natural gas traded between $3.83 and $3.96 per thousand cubic feet.
After fluctuating between $2.93 and $3.01, gas prices declined 5.72 cents to end Tuesday's trading session at $2.95 per gallon.