Crude prices mixed in Asia after US Senate approved bill
SINGAPORE: Crude prices were mixed in Asia Friday, after the US Senate approved a bill to build an oil pipeline from Canada to refineries in the US Gulf Coast, adding to concerns over a supply glut.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in March was up two cents by late morning to $44.55 in volatile trading, while Brent for March eased 16 cents to $48.97.
WTI fell below $44 a barrel at one point in New York trade Thursday, a level not seen since March 2009.
The US Senate on Thursday approved a bill authorising construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the United States.
After weeks of sometimes fierce debate, the bill passed with 62 votes to 36, with nine Democrats defying President Barack Obama to support a project that would transport crude from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries along the US Gulf Coast.
The House of Representatives approved its own Keystone legislation earlier this month and now must decide whether it passes the Senate measure or enters into bicameral conference to thrash out a compromise bill.
“The keystone pipeline will move US oil production more efficiently in the long term, and in the grand scale of things this will further exert downward pressure on oil prices,” said Shailaja Nair, associate editorial director at energy information provider Platts.