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Terror concerns drive oil price toward $65
www.chinaview.cn 2005-08-09 16:52:38

    LONDON, Aug. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Warnings of a possible terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia coupled with concerns about Iran's resumption of its nuclear program helped push crude prices to nominal records, with analysts fearing the per barrel price could soon breach 65-US dollar mark, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

    Crude futures in New York on Monday approached 64-dollar a barrel and US gasoline futures reached highs as an already-tight market reacted to warnings from the United States, Britain and Australia of potential attacks in Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer.

    Britain talked of "credible reports" that terrorists were in the "final stages of planning attacks" in the kingdom, a warning that was echoed by the Australian government and came as the United States closed its missions in Saudi Arabia, also citing a terrorist threat.

    The futures market has been driven higher by one of the worst sequences of refinery stoppages in years.

    Prices were also lifted by Iran's resumption of nuclear activities at a uranium conversion plant in Isfahan -- a move thatbrings Tehran closer to threatened United Nations sanctions.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency will hold an emergency meeting of its board of governors on Tuesday to discuss Iran's decision.

    Oil traders fear Iran's resumption of its nuclear program couldprompt the European Union to back US calls for sanctions against the second-biggest oil producer in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

    Meanwhile, lack of spare capacity means refineries could face difficulties meeting global oil demand this winter.

    The International Energy Agency, the industrial countries' energy watchdog, has forecast that oil consumption will reach 85.9-million barrels a day in the fourth quarter, up from the current 83.7 million. Enditem 

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