BBC news | July 6, 2005
The cost of crude oil has headed back above $60 a barrel on the threat of disruption to US output from a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico.
US light sweet crude was up 62 cents to $60.21 a barrel, while London's Brent crude rose 52 cents to $58.81.
Worries about whether refiners would be able to meet end-of-year demand compounded the pressure on prices.
Oil first rose above $60 in late June, following months of pressure from sky-high demand.
The immediate trigger for Wednesday's gains was Tropical Storm Cindy, which has forced the evacuation of almost a quarter of production platforms.
In 2004, shutdowns caused by Hurricane Ivan forced prices higher just as US oil companies were getting ready for the spike in heating oil demand during the Northern hemisphere autumn and winter.
"The market's strong price response to this weather threat again underscores how tightly balanced and vulnerable the entire energy supply system is," said Tom Wallin, analyst at Energyintel.
Oil producers' group Opec raised its production quota earlier this year, but the increase served only to make official its 11 members' existing overproduction.