Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oil Prices: Cliff Diving

by Bill McBride on 12/24/2008 03:57:00 PM

From MarketWatch: Oil tumbles 9.3% as Cushing inventories hit record

Crude-oil futures fell for a third session Wednesday, tumbling 9.3% to close below $36 a barrel as government data showed inventories at a key delivery point hit a record.

Crude inventories at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for crude futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, reached 28.7 million barrels in the week ended Dec. 19, the Energy Information Administration reported.

It was the highest since at least April 2004, when the government started collecting Cushing data.
...
Crude for February delivery ended down $3.63 at $35.35 a barrel in Nymex dealings.
And all these Gulf States need $50 per barrel just to pay for their government programs.

And this is hitting other oil producers too, from Bloomberg: Russia’s Central Bank Devalues Ruble for Third Time in Week
Russia devalued the ruble for the third time in a week, sending the currency to its lowest level against the dollar since January 2006, as oil’s drop below $37 a barrel dimmed the outlook for growth.
...
The economy, which recovered from the government’s 1998 debt default to expand an average 7 percent in the eight years to 2007, may slip into a recession in the first half of 2009, Kremlin economic adviser Arkady Dvorkovich told Bloomberg Television on Dec. 19.

The government will post a budget deficit next year for the first time in a decade and will use its $132.6 billion reserve fund, or extra oil revenue the government has set aside, to cover the financing gap, Dvorkovich told reporters in Moscow today.

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