Crude oil rose to a record price
Tuesday, Aug. 3, for the second day in a row, with futures reaching more than
$44 a barrel at one point.
On Monday, Aug. 2, oil for
September delivery was selling at $43.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile
Exchange. That was the record price until the following day.
Many analysts have attributed recent record-high prices to
troubles involving the Russian oil company Yukos, which is currently engaged in
a battle with the Russian government. The
company’s leader, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a political foe of Russian President
Vladimir Putin, is currently charged with tax evasion and fraud. The company is
also facing massive payments for back taxes.
Oil prices shot up last week on
news that the Russian firm might stop production.
The situation in Moscow was
compounded when wire services reported that an OPEC official said the
multinational oil producers’ organization could do little to slow the increase
And as the raw materials were rising
in price, the finished product was running up as well.
The Department of Energy reported
Aug. 2 that the national average U.S. retail price of diesel fuel had increased
to $1.780 from the previous average of $1.754. Regional prices ran as high as $2.115
a gallon in California to $1.717 in the Lower Atlantic region, the lowest in