22 May 2007 - 12:05
  • News Code: 105278

Crude oil rose above $66 a barrel in New York - its highest price in three weeks - as refineries stepped up production of gasoline to meet increased demand for summer.

U.S. refineries have boosted crude processing in recent weeks after disruptions earlier in the year cut output.

 

Gasoline inventories rose to 195.2 million barrels the week ended May 11, the second consecutive weekly increase, according to a U.S. Energy Department report on May 16.

 

 

Crude oil trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange for June delivery rose $1.33, or 2.1 percent, to $66.27 a barrel, the highest close since April 27. The price is up 8.6 percent this year.

 

Brent crude for July settlement rose $1.07 to $70.46 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

 

That was the highest close since Aug. 28. U.S. gasoline consumption peaks from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

 

"The outlook for the summer is not good for gasoline," said Addison Armstrong, director of market research at TFS Energy LLC in Stamford, Conn. As refineries "start producing more gasoline, they"re going to be using more crude."

 

Gasoline futures for June delivery fell 64 cents to $2.4013 a gallon in New York.

 

PIN/ BLOOMBERG

News Code 105278

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