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Oil Falls Below $15 a Barrel

February 19, 1986|From Associated Press

Oil futures prices passed another historic milepost Tuesday, sinking below $15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange for the first time since the exchange began trading in crude oil futures in 1983.

"Without a cutback in production, there's no reason for it to be supported at any price," said John Hill, an analyst in New York with Merrill Lynch Commodities.

Crude oil for delivery in March plunged by $1.24 a barrel. Heating oil and leaded gasoline were off by the 2 cents-a-gallon limit for daily trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The nearby delivery months, on which there is no limit, slumped even lower.

Crude oil futures slipped below $30 less than three months ago and have been on an almost steady decline since then.

Tuesday's slippage was a reflection of "the pessimism that's been in the market for most of 1986," Hill said.

"It's very much in a bearish frame of mind and any move upward is really correction" of the downward trend, he said.

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