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Oil Prices Show Improvement

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Oil Prices Show Improvement

Economy

Oil Prices Show Improvement

Oil Prices Show Improvement

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Oil prices of $67 a barrel were once seen as a nightmare. Now that they've been well over $70, $67 looks like an improvement. And prices dropped below that mark Monday after OPEC said it will keep pumping oil at a steady pace.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

The business news starts with oil prices drifting down and helium floating up.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: You may recall when oil prices of $67 a barrel were seen as a nightmare. It was only a year or two ago. Now that they've been well above that mark, $67 looks like an improvement. And prices dropped below $67 yesterday after OPEC, the oil producing cartel, said it will keep pumping oil at a steady pace.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY: Crude oil prices have tumbled more than $10 from their mid-July peak. Energy analyst Phil Flynn of Alaron Trading in Chicago says OPEC's promise to keep the taps wide open is just one of several factors helping to cool the market.

Oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have dodged hurricanes so far this year and there are hints that oil rich Iran might postpone its unwelcome effort to enrich uranium.

Mr. PHIL FLYNN (Alaron Trading): I'm getting worried because I'm an oil trader and I'm running out of stuff to worry about. I mean, I don't have to worry about Iran. I don't have to worry about OPEC. What kind of world are we living in?

HORSLEY: OPEC could rein in supply, though, should prices fall much further. In the meantime, prices at the gas pump continue to fall, to a national average of about $2.62 a gallon. That's well below what gas was selling for a year ago in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Scott Horsley, NPR News.

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