Britain Drops North Sea Oil Price by $1.25
Britain cut prices of its North Sea oil by $1.25 a barrel today, a move that analysts said put further pressure on a divided OPEC and increased the odds of price cuts by other producers.
The government-run British National Oil Corp. lowered the price of its Brent and Forties crude oils from the North Sea to $26.65 a barrel in June from $27.90 in May. It also reduced the price of Ninian oil to $26.50 from $27.75 a barrel.
As recently as last October, the price for Brent crude was $30 a barrel, but in recent months Britain has tied its prices to levels in the spot market.
A cut of $1.25 a barrel, if adopted by all producers and passed on entirely to consumers, is equivalent to a reduction of about 3 cents a gallon on the price of gasoline and other refined petroleum products.
Britain’s price cut came two days after nine oil ministers of the 13-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to move forward the next semiannual meeting of the cartel to June 30 from July 22 to discuss weak oil markets and reported cheating by members on OPEC’s price and production limits.