Minimal storm damage helps push oil below $100

Commodity traders decided Monday that damage from Hurricane Ike was less severe than anticipated, sending the price of oil down to about $95 a barrel. Refineries reported "no significant structural damage," and analysts said a widespread power outage was the "biggest hurdle to a prompt restart of operations." At least 10 oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico were destroyed by the storm, but that represented only a tiny fraction of the 3,800 platforms in the area. Nonetheless, with many estimates suggesting that it will be more than a week before refineries are back online, the federal government announced it would to release 309,000 barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

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