Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Oil prices hit a six-month high, climbing above $62 a barrel after a government report showed a drop in U.S. oil supplies for the second straight week.
Benchmark crude for July delivery rose $1.21 to $61.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange before noon. Crude prices jumped to $62.14 earlier in the day, the highest price for crude since Nov. 11.
The Energy Department says that crude stockpiles dropped by 2 million barrels last week. Gasoline inventories dropped by more than four million barrels.
That was a bigger decline than analysts had expected, especially for gasoline.
One of the main drivers this year for energy prices has been the enormous amount of crude and gasoline in storage.
A number of issues, from fires at refineries, to falling inventories, to the first big driving holiday of the year, are said to be sending prices upward.