Crude Oil Holds Under $81 Per Barrel

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NEW YORK, Aug. 10 (UPI) — Crude oil prices in New York held under $81 per barrel as a second major energy organization in the week warned world demand was weakening.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Tuesday predicted global demand would drop by 150,000 barrels per day compared to previous 2011 estimates. On Wednesday, the International Energy Agency chimed in, saying “slowing economic growth” in the second quarter pointed to a drop of 100,000 barrels per day drop in demand.

The IEA says world consumption is currently at 89.5 million barrels per day.

A month after predicting slightly higher demand for the year, the IEA reversed itself. “Concerns over debt levels in Europe and the United States, and signs of slowing economic growth in China and India have spooked the market,” MSN News reported the IEA said.

After dropping 12 percent in the past week, oil prices held at $80.42 per barrel Wednesday morning, after hitting an overnight high of $82.90 per barrel. Home heating oil prices rose 6.83 cents to $2.8331 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline on the New York Mercantile Exchange added 4.35 cents to $2.7111 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas prices rose 0.9 cents to $4.003 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline dropped to $3.637 per gallon from Tuesday’s $3.652, AAA said.

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