Oil prices rocketed to a new nine-year high on Nov. 22 after Iraq suspended oil exports under
its humanitarian exchange program with the United Nations.
London January Brent futures opened at $25.90, the highest oil price since January 1991, when allied forces were preparing to eject Iraqi troops from Kuwait. Later in the day Brent stood at $25.67 a barrel, 63 cents up from Friday's close.
Prices leapt as Iraq's Oil Minister Amir Mohammed Rasheed confirmed that Iraq had stopped oil deliveries under the latest six-month phase of its oil-for-food exchange with the UN. Baghdad protested the UN's proposal to extend by two weeks the sixth phase of the program and accused the United States of trying to push other Security Council members into accept a draft resolution on weapons inspections.
Oil analysts said the loss of Iraq's 2.2 million barrels a day of exports from the 75 million barrels daily world market would exacerbate a looming supply shortage this winter.