Oil breaks $70 per barrel barrier

| 4/17/2006

Hurricane season is still a couple of months away, but oil prices have already shot up to Katrina-like levels.

Prices in shot up above $70 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday, April 17, before settling back down around the $60 mark.

The last time prices went anywhere near that high was on Aug. 30, 2005, when they reached a record $70.85 per barrel.

The Associated Press reported that industry analysts were blaming this surge on a lower than expected gasoline inventory report issued by the federal government’s Energy Information Administration on Wednesday, April 12.

That report showed that gasoline inventories dropped 3.9 million barrels for the week ending April 7, down nearly 2 percent from the same week in 2005.

Increased violence and supply disruptions in Nigeria as well as increasing tensions between the U.S. and Iran were also blamed for the increase, The AP reported.