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December 26, 2006

Oil Falls $1 Due To Global Warming

If there is such a thing as strong-form melt-the-icecaps global warming, isn't there a big element of self-correction to it? If burning carbon for heat causes temperatures to rise, rising temperatures cause less carbon to be burned for heat, right?

Anyway, in the Northeast, it's almost balmy. And wonderful.

Oil and natural gas prices fell hard Tuesday amid mild winter weather that has depressed demand for home-heating fuels.

Trading volume was light and that exaggerated the moves lower, analysts said.

U.N. sanctions against Iran that were approved over the weekend could raise concerns about supplies in 2007, though traders so far appear to have shrugged off the continuing dispute over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Light sweet crude for February delivery declined $1.31, or 2 percent, to settle at $61.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, which reopened Tuesday after a three-day closure for the Christmas weekend.

In other Nymex trading Tuesday, natural gas prices dropped 52.2 cents, almost 8 percent, to settle at $6.113 per 1,000 cubic feet and heating oil futures fell 5.87 cents to settle at $1.6233 a gallon. Unleaded gasoline slid 5.08 cents to settle at $1.5722 a gallon.

In London, Brent crude futures declined $1.32 to settle at $61.10 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

"The weather is taking a big hold of this market," said Societe Generale commodity strategist Mike Guido, who estimated that consumption of home-heating fuels in the Northeast was as much as 30 percent below normal over the past 45 days.

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