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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery lost $1.56 to $80.08 on the New York Merc, while Brent for January lost $2.16 to $87.62 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $29.07 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for December lost seven cents to $6.30. The TSX energy index lost a fraction of a point to close at 262.29.
Oil prices notched their second weekly decline in a row, dragged down by recession fears, Chinese COVID outbreaks and a stronger U.S. dollar (which makes oil more expensive for non-U.S. buyers). Gas prices, though down for today, notched a weekly increase. Today brought some welcome news for gas producers. A major LNG (liquefied natural gas) facility in Texas will reportedly be able to resume operations next month and return to full capacity in March.
The facility is owned by Freeport LNG, one of the largest LNG exporters in the country. It had to close the plant after a fiery explosion in early June. The closure contributed to a backup of gas across North America, sending price benchmarks tumbling toward $6.50 (U.S.) from $9 (U.S.) in less than a month. They got as low as $4.95 (U.S.) in October (though they have since climbed back up to today's level of $6.30 (U.S.)). In a press release today, Freeport said repairs at the facility are 90 per cent complete and operations will start to ramp up "in a slow and deliberate manner" in mid-December, with "full production ... anticipated to commence in March."
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