Thursday, 24 January 2013 04:22
NEW YORK: US crude oil prices closed sharply lower Wednesday, dragged down by news that a key pipeline had cut capacity due to a bottleneck.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate, for delivery in March, tumbled $1.45 from Tuesday's close to settle at $95.23 a barrel.
In London trade, meanwhile, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March settled at $112.80 a barrel, an increase of 38 cents.
The New York market, which had been trading slightly lower for most of the session, dived after the operator of the Seaway pipeline told shippers that capacity had been reduced because of an unexpected problem at a delivery point.
"When that headline came out, the WTI immediately came under a significant amount of pressure," said Andy Lipow, an independent oil analyst.
The Seaway carries crude stocked in Cushing, Oklahoma, the main oil terminal in the world's biggest crude consumer, to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.