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Shutdowns boost Brent oil


Shutdowns boost Brent oil


The price of Brent crude oil has been above 98 dollars a barrel for the first time in 27 months.

That comes amid production shutdowns and growing global demand which have raised expectations of tighter supplies.

A gas leak forced two Norwegian oilfields to close briefly and over the weekend the Trans Alaska Pipeline was shut because of a leak, although it has since resumed “limited operations.”

That pipeline ships about 12 percent of US crude output. An outage lasting more than a week may force oil refineries on the US West Coast to look for alternatives in Russia and the Middle East, traders and analysts said.

Officials said the line will have to be shut down again in coming days to put a bypass over the leaking section in place.

Oil also gained support from forecasts for higher heating demand this week as the US Northeast, the world’s biggest heating oil market, was hit by the second major snow storm of the winter season.

US crude traded more than seven dollars below Brent on Tuesday, the widest spread since February 2009, because of high inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point and tighter supply of Brent-related crudes.

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