No Crude Spike from Isaac

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Oil traders ignored the fact that Hurricane Isaac, now a Category 1 storm, stepped ashore in Louisiana. WTI crude actually dipped nearly $1 to $95.55. Despite the billions of dollars of damage the rain and wind from Isaac will bring, there is no evidence that rigs in the Gulf of Mexico or refineries along its shores will be off-line for more than a day or two. The storm did not turn out to be the menace — to the ability to drill oil, make it into gas or ship it to regions of the United States where demand is strong — it might have been if it had been much more powerful.

The lack of effect on oil prices also will hurt the chance that a request by G7 finance ministers for oil-producing nations to increase their activity will be taken seriously. The supply of oil is no worse than it was a week ago.

Douglas A. McIntyre

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