Crude oil futures prices rose above $49 a barrel Tuesday on concerns about the forthcoming Iraqi elections, terrorist threats to &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/23/27891.html ' target=_blank>Middle East oil installations, Sunday's OPEC meeting and a potential oil-worker strike in Nigeria.
Light sweet crude for March delivery was up 64 cents at $49.45 a barrel in afternoon trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Heating oil for February delivery rose 1.58 cent to $1.419 per gallon.
In London, Brent for March delivery was 2 cents higher at $46.03 a barrel on the International Petroleum Exchange, reports Forbes.
"All of this has kept us with a bullish bias," said Tom Bentz of BNP Paribas. "The cold really helped early in the week, and today there were a few refinery issues."
&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/economics/2003/03/26/45093.html ' target=_blank>Oil prices have been climbing steadily in recent weeks as arctic cold blew into the U.S. Northeast after a mild start to the winter, boosting demand for heating oil.
U.S. supplies of the key winter fuel were running about 4 percent below last year, according to the most recent government figures, and analysts were predicting the cold would trigger further declines in stockpiles.
Below-normal temperatures are expected to last another week before a thaw gives the market a reprieve. Forecasters are calling for a warmer-than-normal February and March, informs Reuters.