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20th January 2011, 00:28
US trader Hetco drives up oil price

Hetco, which is part-owned by US oil and gas group Hess Corp, was said to have taken control of eight North Sea Forties oil shipments and two Brent cargoes – and it is believed to be in the market for more. The move would give Hetco more influence over the price of oil for immediate delivery. The cargoes are for February delivery.

The reports suggested that Hetco's purchases were the basis of a trading play and the trading house now has 30pc of the Forties oil being loaded next month and 25pc of Brent cargoes. Brent crude's premium over West Texas Intermediate oil has been increasing to abnormal levels since August last year, as US inventories of both oil and gas remain at high levels.

The news propelled Brent crude futures to $98.60 in intra-day trading on Wednesday, but this was still below the 27-month high of $99.20 seen last week. Many analysts expect the oil price to move above $100 a barrel this year.

However, there was also speculation that Hetco had been trying to sell some of its supply of Forties crude, but had failed to find a buyer for a third day in a row.

Brent crude for March delivery closed at $98.08 yesterday, a gain of 28 cents.

Source: US trader Hetco drives up oil price - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/8270272/US-trader-Hetco-drives-up-oil-price.html)


"Hetco, which is part-owned by US oil and gas group Hess Corp"