The October crude oil futures price rallied Thursday after news broke of an explosion on a production platform in the Central Gulf of
Crude oil rose 1.5 percent, or $1.09, settling at $75.02 a barrel. Traders anticipate the platform fire will motivate government officials to become stricter with the deepwater drilling moratorium, leading to an increase in costs and a slowdown in production from the Gulf.
Earlier Thursday, oil received a smaller boost from more optimistic economic reports and a weaker U.S. dollar. The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator in the housing sector, reported a 5.2-percent increase after falling two months in a row. Also, the U.S. Labor Department announced that the number of seasonally adjusted first-time claims for unemployment
Crude for October delivery fluctuated between $73.11 and $74.68.
Early gains in the October natural gas futures price were short-lived, and gas ultimately settled 0.3 percent lower at $3.75 per thousand
Gasoline for October delivery climbed 3 cents, settling at $1.92 a gallon. Gasoline peaked at $1.92 and bottomed out at $1.87.
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