Swings & Roundabouts

Siddiqi, Moin A.
February 2004
Middle East;Feb2004, Issue 342, p38
For 2003, the OPEC Reference Basket comprising seven crudes Algerian Saharan Blend, Dubai Fateh, Indonesian Minas, Nigerian Bonny Light, Saudi Arabian Light, Venezuelan Tia-Juana and Mexican Isthmus, averaged $28.1 a barrel, the highest since 1984/85. Market volatility over the past 12 months has been fuelled by a combination of factors, including depleted crude inventories, low worldwide surplus capacity held almost entirely by Saudi Aramco, supply disruptions in Iraq, Venezuela and Nigeria, speculative buying among hedge funds, as well as soaring oil usage in electric-generation plants, because of problems within the U.S. natural gas and Japan's nuclear power sectors.


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