Oil Prices Fall as Greece Debt Talks Continue

Oil prices fell Friday as Greece's debt negotiations sparked new concerns about Europe's financial problems.

Greece officials said that they are confident a deal will be reached with private creditors who are being asked help ease the country's debt load. An agreement is necessary for Greece to receive a new round of bailout money to prevent a default on its debt.

The talks are a key part of broader efforts to deal with Europe's financial crisis. There have been concerns that the crisis could affect the global economy and reduce demand for oil and other energy products.

Benchmark oil fell $1.62 to $98.92 per barrel Friday in New York. Brent crude fell $1.35 to $110.20 per barrel in London.

Investors also are monitoring Iran's threats to close the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, if the U.S. and other countries impose more sanctions on Iran's nuclear program.

European Union foreign ministers are expected to discuss possible sanctions, including an oil embargo, against Iran at a Monday meeting. Many analysts doubt that Iran could attempt a blockade without swift military intervention from the U.S. but any supply shortages would cause oil inventories to tighten.

One-sixth of the world's seaborne oil passes through the narrow strait in the Persian Gulf.

Cameron Hanover analyst Peter Buetel said there is "a lot nervousness" among investors as events play out in other countries. "It just seems more than anything that the market's run out of upside momentum at this level," he said.

Meanwhile, U.S. retail gasoline prices continue to stay above year-ago levels even though demand is weak. On Friday the national average for gasoline was practically unchanged almost the same as a week ago at $3.38 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service. That's about 18 cents more than a month ago and around 27 cents more than a year ago.

In other trading, natural gas moved between small losses and gains, a day after the Energy Department said the nation's supplies remained plentiful and demand was weak as the mild winter continued across much of the nation. The price of natural gas is near a 10-year low. Natural gas rose a penny to $2.34 per 1,000 cubic feet in midday trading.

Heating oil fell 3 cents to $3 per gallon and gasoline futures fell 4 cents to $2.78 per gallon.

AP Energy Writer Chris Kahn contributed to this report.

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Chris

As long as Obama is our President, you can FORGET about lower Gas Prices!! Killing the Keystone Pipeline and allowing Canada to do Business with China is just one small example of his Stupidity that continues to ruin our Economy.

January 24 2012 at 6:36 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
hman570

As long as the oil companies can get $4/5/6.00 a gallon for gas nothing is ever going to change. Just think if someone did or has come up with an engine that would get 100/200 mpg, we would be paying 20.00 a gallon for fuel as the oil companies would not allow their profits to decrease. I watched the YouTube ad for this myt engine and sounds great, there would be a way as the Politicians in Washington are owned by the oil companies would make sure that the price of a gallon of gas would not go down but up. The people are always caught in the middle of the profit making greedy Corperation as we call it Capitalism. So get excited as new products will be coming down the pike and hopefully new jobs for the future generations, perhaps they will be jobs too that can allow a family to live a comfortable life not the life we have today.

January 24 2012 at 6:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jeniusboy58

Hey. I got an idea. Why don't we tap into the fuel under our feet? We're starving to death while were sitting on a cow.

January 24 2012 at 6:02 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jeniusboy58's comment
waldoknowswhere

Because the EPA are vegetarians if you get my drift. Obama just sealed his one year term by shutting down our own resources. He's more interested in killing the American economy, that is the only thing transparent in his three year boondoggle thus far.

January 24 2012 at 10:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
k4jlp

HOLD YOUR ELECTED BOUGHT OFF BY LOBBY MONEY CONGRESS ACCOUNTABLE. THEY ALONE CAN BRING BACK THE GLAS-STEAGLE ACT OF 1933 THAT THEY REPEALED IN 1999 THAT ALLOWED CRUDE/GAS FUTURES TO BE "TRADED" WITHOUT TAKING DELIVERY OF THE PRODUCT...IT'S A SCAM FOLKS, WAKE UP YOU BUNCH OF SHEEP....

January 24 2012 at 6:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
danyoo58

check out or google myt engine it gets 150 miles to the galon and an engine that weighs 150 pounds will replace a 3000 pound diesel engine and an engine that weighs 8 pounds will replace the 800 pound gas engine coming soon i think this is the reason that we are paying the prices at the pump so they can make the money to invest elsewhere like wind energy etc... myt engine on you tube

January 24 2012 at 5:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nccurt36

Folks this gouging of everyone at the pump will only get better when we as a people start getting serious about wanting change like another million man march on the whitehouse demanding that a law be passed to overturn oil speculation on the market. I believe that that alone is what is killing us all at the pumps because they could easily come up with a meriad of stupid excuses to raise prices at the pumps. When those idiots like obummer who continue claim they have no control over this at this end of it from our country and its greedy investors its time for a change in the whitehouse which is one of those "duhhh?" questions. The next president needs to not make all kinds of crazy promises that will go nowhere and cost trillions and get to getting to fixing the oil and gas problems which are easily fixed with new laws and regulations if paid off bumbs like obummer and his one world order cronies in Europe and the sands would just give up the greed. How much is enough? If gas reaches 4 to 5 dollars plus again at the pump in this terrible economy and if obummer and his money backing cronies buys another bunch of super delegates in the next election for four more years you can guarentee 4 years of civil unrest at levels we havent seen or read about since the revolutionary times. People want action and even though the status quo thanks to the sellouts from AOL to the "fluffington post" and their total left wing agendas is to go with the obummer flow from most of the total idiots on the "fluffington post" which they only can post and has virtualy crippled real public outcry for the total zero obummer that is unless you are a koolaid drinking obominite. Everyone listen up because this is the truth. Obummer if he wanted to could have gas down by overturning the decision to speculate at the stock markets. He can't run any line on me saying he can't do it. He simply won't try to do it because he would harm "his secret allies" in the middle east that are paying off everybody from congress to the media to get people programmed into thinking 2 and 3 dollars or more a gallon is "normal". Wake up folks because obummer could get George Sorros or whatever his name is behind him on this to stop speculating but him or obummer want gas prices and our economy to improve. We need a new president now that will fix these crucial things to get our economy in the right place again. The paid off media is trying to clear the field with trying to get good candidates out of the way like Romni who has the brains and courage to fix this mess and he has vowed to fight in every state and I hope he wins and pulls in Santorum as his running mate. It will be the only way this country will see any real change in the next four years. Mark my words here and not some pro obummer media tripe that is constantly being posted on liberal "fluffington post world" about obummer and singing his unfounded praises. Get a life hippy liberals. Change is coming in November.

January 24 2012 at 4:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
heerox001

I seen a gas station that raises their prices between 12am and 5am, while all the others around it keep their prices at what they are supposed to be...not very many moonlighters visiting that gas station around this time. $3.29 in parts of GA while in AL it's $2.98.

January 24 2012 at 4:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
theron

something needs to be done to stop the gouging of the gasoline companies. I don't have a problem with someone making a profit, but when their profits are crippleing the economy, its time for action. the price of gasoline is 60% of the major problems in the US. it has caused everything that humans need to survive to skyrocket in price. mainly because of the cost to ship them. and families are hurting because altho their income remains the same, the cost of everything has doubled. whats wrong with our leaders that they would ignore this? its time to occupy the gas companies............

January 24 2012 at 2:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
AL-Concetta

That's all BS the only reason that gas prices go up and stay up is GREED and the bloodsucking speculaters. And congress ( which is bought and paid for by the big oil companys.

January 24 2012 at 2:25 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
smoknjoe

Another thing to look at is how much tax is added to that gallon of gas.

January 24 2012 at 2:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to smoknjoe's comment
Jane

The tax is nothing compared to Europe,

January 24 2012 at 3:58 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jane's comment
waldoknowswhere

This isn't Europe yet, 4 more years of O'Blabber and it very well could be.

January 24 2012 at 10:13 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down