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Oil expert says recent price drop temporary

By Jack Money Published: July 19, 2008
This week's precipitous drop in oil prices is temporary and not a trend, at least one state industry expert predicts.

Sue Ann Hamm, manager of crude oil marketing at Enid-based Continental Resources, said Friday it appears traders are selling off beneficial contracts to cover losses they have experienced in the stock market.

"It will be a couple of months before we know for sure, but that is what this feels like,” Hamm said.

Priced to move
The price of oil is down nearly $20 a barrel in the past week, after trading as high as $147 a barrel last week on the New York Mercantile Exchange, it closed at $128.88 on the same market Friday.

Gasoline prices also stabilized Friday after setting two national average records this week.

But that could be a temporary pause in a steady climb. Prices climbed into the $3 a gallon range in February, and they've been moving higher ever since. On June 9, they moved into the $4 a gallon range.

In Oklahoma, the average price for a gallon of gas has come agonizingly close to that $4 amount, but hasn't yet gotten there.

Refineries boost production
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. refineries cut the amount of oil they were taking in to make gasoline, diesel and other products during the week that ended July 11, operating at 89.

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