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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery added $1.58 to $69.72 on the New York Merc, while Brent for November added $1.47 to $72.92 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $11.96 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for October lost nine cents to $4.94. The TSX energy index added a fraction to close at 124.85.
With predictions of $100 (U.S.) oil becoming old hat -- JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, BofA, Barclays and others have been tossing the figure around for months -- oil bulls may now have a new magic number to fixate on. Omani Energy Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhi has publicly speculated that prices could get as high as $200 (U.S.). Speaking at a conference yesterday on clean energy transitions, he issued a warning that the world could be at risk of "energy starvation," which could cause prices to skyrocket to a "$100-(U.S.)- to $200-(U.S.)-a-barrel scenario."
His comments were partly a criticism of the International Energy Agency (IEA), which said in May that the industry should immediately have "no new oil and gas fields approved for development" if the world is to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This recommendation was dubbed "extremely dangerous" by the Omani minister. "My biggest fear, if we stop investing in the fossil fuel industry abruptly," he said, "is there will be energy starvation and the price of energy will just shoot [up]." This might sound good in theory for oil producers, but in reality it is "something that I think many of us, if not all of us, would not like to see."
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