No 4

28 January 2002


Crude Prices BuoyedBy Speculation

Crudeoil prices were buoyed last week by various forms of speculation: about whetherOPEC would make another production cut; about how much US refiners are reducingthroughput in the face of weak demand; about how filling of the US StrategicPetroleum Reserve (SPR) will affect demand; and about motives behind a boldspeculative position taken up by US trader Sempra, which appears to havecornered the February market for 15-day...