Oil prices sink despite Georgian conflict

NEW YORK, August 11, 2008 (AFP) – Crude oil prices sank Monday as the market worried about weakening demand, particularly in the eurozone and in China, after Chinese oil imports fell sharply. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for September delivery, fell 75 cents to close at 114.45 dollars a barrel. The contract hit an intraday low of 112.72 dollars, its lowest level since May 2.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for September delivery slipped 66 cents to settle at 112.67 dollars. Its session low was 111.07 dollars.

“There has been a significant change in the market as the world is revaluing assets based upon the perceived health of their own economies as it relates to the suddenly stronger US economy,” said Phil Flynn at Alaron Trading.

Barclays Capital analysts said that traders were concentrating on “global recessionary fears dampening the demand for oil.”

But the escalating violence in Georgia between Russian and Georgian troops was largely shrugged off, analysts said.

“The market turned a blind eye to problems with the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline and the escalating conflict between Russia and Georgia,” said Sucden analyst Nimit Khamar.