Little reaction in oil market to Chavez death
APBANGKOK--Oil markets are taking the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in stride, with the price of crude little changed Wednesday.
March 7, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Chavez, who died Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer, oversaw a decline in oil production during his 14 years as the leader of Venezuela, and analysts don't expect that trend to change immediately. The full impact of his death may not be felt until Venezuela, which sits on the world's second-largest oil reserves, picks a new leader — one who might choose a course different from Chavez.
The existence of ample global oil supplies kept markets at ease. Benchmark oil for April delivery was down 8 cents to US$90.74 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
“Problems in Venezuela will undoubtedly impact the market, but may not be too much of a problem for the market to cope with,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. “It is well supplied and it still has reasonably high prices in relation to the current demand-supply balance.”
On Tuesday, the contract rose 70 cents to finish at US$90.82 a barrel on the Nymex, just hours after Chavez died.
Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, fell 24 cents to US$111.37 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.9 cents to US$3.1388 a gallon.
— Heating oil rose 0.3 cent to US$2.976 a gallon.
— Natural gas rose 1.9 cent to US$3.548 per 1,000 cubic feet.