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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oil Fetches $29 a Barrel As Cold Spell Forecast




SINGAPORE -- Crude prices in Asia traded at nine-year highs Wednesday on expectations of tight supplies as producers looked set to extend their output curbs.


February New York Mercantile Exchange crudes were at $29 per barrel, firmer by 15 cents from their settlement in New York.


In New York daytime trade Tuesday, U.S. crudes briefly hit the $29 mark, the highest price seen since the Persian Gulf War in 1991, before ending the day at $28.85.


The New York settlement was 83 cents higher from Friday.


The main factor underpinning prices was a recommendation Friday by key members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that output curbs currently in place should continue after the end of the March deadline.


The recommendation was made by OPEC's compliance committee, which met in Vienna, Austria, last week.


On Friday, prices surged by more than $1 in response to recommendations by the compliance committee.


Prices maintained their upward trend this week amid projections of cold weather in the United States and expectations of lower Iraqi exports.


Weather forecasts Monday said the United States would likely experience a cold snap for another 10 to 12 days and possibly another week beyond that.


Price support also came from a report Monday by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan that without a marked acceleration in the approval of spare parts, Iraqi oil sales could fall by 200,000 barrels per day in the current phase of the country's oil-for-food deal with the UN.