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Pipeline Fire Boosts World Oil Prices


World oil prices rebounded sharply Thursday, by more than $4, to more than $95 a barrel after fire struck a Canadian pipeline sending crude to the United States, which is the world's biggest energy consumer. Prices later eased to a bit under $92 a barrel.

The fire struck a pipeline that can supply about 15 percent of U.S. crude imports via the northern U.S. state of Minnesota. The blaze is now extinguished, but two of the four large pipes are shut down, at least for a while.

Before the fire, world oil prices had been declining after a report on U.S. energy inventories showed adequate supplies as the peak heating season approaches in the northern hemisphere.

The new problem may increase pressure on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to agree to increase oil output when they meet December 5.

OPEC officials have previously said the world markets are adequately supplied with oil and blamed recent price surges on speculation rather than shortages.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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