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Oil was little changed at around $133 a barrel on Tuesday after news of another attack on Nigerian oil facilities refocused concerns on immediate supplies.
Crude oil rose for a second day in New York and traded above $133 a barrel yesterday as militants attacked facilities in Nigeria and OPEC's president ruled out an increase in supplies.
Markets were also unnerved by the weekend shut-down of StatoilHydro's North Sea oilfields Vigdis and Snorre A, which were shut by an oil leak at a nearby platform, although both restarted on by Monday.
OPEC has been adamant that the market remains well balanced and there is no need to raise production levels, blaming the rise in prices on financial speculators or other factors outside its control.
Crude accounts for 40% of the world's energy supply and is the most actively traded commodity contract worldwide. Crude is the base material that makes gas, diesel, jet fuels and thousands of other petrochemicals.
More specifically, the type of crude in question is the light sweet crude oil variety, which, according to NYMEX, contains lower levels of sulfur. This type of crude is traded in dollars and cents per barrel and each future contract involves 1,000 barrels. As in the example above, when crude is trading at $60/barrel, the contract has a total value of $60,000. For example, if a trader is long at $60/barrel, and the markets move to $55/barrel, that is a move of $5,000 ($60 – $55 = $5, $5 x 1,000 bl. = $5,000).
The minimum price movement, or tick size, is a penny. Although the market frequently will trade in sizes greater than a penny, one penny is the smallest amount it can move.
Crude has a daily limit of $10/barrel, which is expanded every five minutes as needed. This means crude will never have an upper or lower lock limit. Remember, a $10 difference in a barrel of oil is a move of $10,000 per contract.
The requirements of the exchange specify delivery to numerous areas on the coast and inland. These areas are subject to change by the exchange. For example, currently for the NYMEX, the delivery point is in Cushing, Oklahoma.
Because energy is in such demand, is it deliverable all 12 months of the year. To maintain an orderly market, the exchanges will set position limits. A position limit is the maximum number of contracts a single participant can hold. There are different position limits for hedgers and speculators.
An oligopoly is a market form in which a market or industry is dominated by a small number of sellers (oligopolists). The word is derived from the Greek for a few over many. Because there are few participants in this type of market, each oligopolist is aware of the actions of the others. The decisions of one firm influence, and are influenced by the decisions of other firms. Strategic planning by oligopolists always involves taking into account the likely responses of the other market participants. This causes oligopolistic markets and industries to be at the highest risk for collusion.
Iraq Oil Reserves and Production History. With 115 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, Iraq has the world’s second-largest endowment of oil, amounting to 11% of the global total.
The tender, for which bids are due by June 10, switches the transaction back to dollars -- the international currency of oil sales - despite the greenback's recent fall in value. Saddam Hussein in 2000 insisted Iraq's oil be sold for euros, a political move, but one that improved Iraq's recent earnings thanks to the rise in the value of the euro against the dollar 
Venezuela had 80 billion barrels (13×109 m3) of conventional oil reserves as of 2007, the largest oil reserves of any country in South America. In 2006, it had net oil exports of 2.2 million barrels per day (350×103 m3/d), the sixth-largest in the world and the largest in the Western Hemisphere.