Oil closes above $55 a barrel in New York

| Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The price of oil closed at $55.17 on the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday, Oct. 26.

During trading, the price at one point was as high as $55.25, but dropped to the lower – but still astounding – closing price later in the day.

The closing price matched a record set just last week, as oil continued a long run above what was once considered an impossible price - $50 a barrel.

Analysts said that continued worries – such as supply problems in Iraq, instability in nations such as Nigeria, a slow return to normal in the hurricane-ravaged Gulf of Mexico and problems between the massive Russian oil corporation, Yukos – were all playing a role in keeping the price at record or near-record levels.

For the first time in history, the average price of diesel fuel in all U.S. regions remained above the $2 mark for more than a month. The highest prices in the nation continue to be in California, where the price currently averages $2.437 per gallon, the Department of Energy reported Monday, Oct. 25.