Monday, July 21, 2008

Oil Drilling In The Gulf

Interesting. Building on a point I made in this post last week, I'd like to direct readers to this afternoon's MarketWatch story:
Crude closes above $130 on Iran, tropical storm

By Moming Zhou

Last update: 3:08 p.m. EDT July 21,

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Crude futures rose Monday for the first time in five sessions, rebounding from last week's biggest weekly losses, after multilateral talks over Iran's controversial nuclear program didn't yield progress and as Tropical Storm Dolly headed toward the western Gulf of Mexico. Crude for August delivery, which will expire Tuesday, closed up $2.16, or 1.7%, at $131.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier it rose to an intraday high of $132.05 on electronic trading. Crude for September delivery also closed higher at $131.82 a barrel.

Fascinating. So the mere presence of a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico sends the price of oil soaring -- there doesn't even need to be an actual hurricane causing actual damage.

So why is the McCain camp telling us that oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico are "hurricane safe"? If that were true, the market wouldn't respond with a jump in oil prices when drilling activities appear to be threatened by bad weather.

Brilliant. So let's keep pumping oil out of the Gulf of Mexico so every time there's a hint of bad weather we can all be on pins and needles about how it's going to impact the price of oil.