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Crude Oil Futures Drop Below $105

OPEC ministers indicate output won't change, and Hurricane Ike appears less threatening to facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.
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Oil futures were dropping again Tuesday in New York as OPEC ministers indicated output won't change and Hurricane Ike appeared less threatening to drilling and refining facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.

Crude for October delivery was recently down $2.16 at $104.18 a barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude was losing $2.25 to $101.19 a barrel.

Reformulated gasoline was losing 9 cents to $2.66 a gallon, and heating oil was off 8 cents at $2.94 a gallon. Natural gas was slumping 17 cents to $7.36 per million British thermal units.

Contributing to the decline in oil futures were remarks from the oil ministers of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, both members of OPEC, that the group wasn't likely to lower production in the near future.

Also bearish for crude were forecasts showing that Ike has lost some of its strength and is now believed to be on a track that will keep it south of much of the petroleum infrastructure operating in and along the Gulf.

Exxon Mobil

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(CVX) - Get Chevron Corporation Report



(COP) - Get ConocoPhillips Report

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were all slightly lower. The

U.S. Oil

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ETF was losing 1.9%.

Harder hit were the refiners.



was falling 6%, and

Valero (VLO) - Get Valero Energy Corporation Report

was dropping more than 8%.

This article was written by a staff member of