Current Crude Prices Drop to $84

Current crude prices fell to close to $84 per barrel in the midst of lower oil demand in the northeastern part of the United States hit by Hurricane Sandy.

The U.S. benchmark for delivery in December was 40 cents lower, at a crude price per barrel of $84.45, during late afternoon electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest price since the 6th of July. The contract dropped 2.2 percent, or $2.23 cents, to finish at $84.86 per barrel last week.

The recent plunge was attributed by traders to the decision of the U.S. government to temporarily permit the entry of foreign oil tankers from the Gulf of Mexico to the shipping ports of the northeast.

That will aid in relieving a shortage of fuel supplies in the regions largely affected by Hurricane Sandy, according to energy analyst Victor Shum at Singapore’s Purvin & Gertz.

A lot of areas that were stricken by the superstorm are still having difficulties getting back to normal, which implies that fuel demand is also down, said Shum.

On London’s ICE Futures Exchange, the crude price per barrel of Brent, the benchmark used to assign prices to international types of oil, shed 57 cents to $105.11.

Elsewhere in the energy markets on the NYMEX, the cost of wholesale gasoline dropped 0.6-cent per gallon to $2.568. The price of heating oil shed 0.7-cent to reach $2.941 a gallon. And the cost of natural gas declined 4.3 cents to end at $3.511 for every 1,000 cubic feet.