Crude Oil Prices Cool Further

SEPTEMBER 7, 2005 - Posted at 8:59 a.m. CDT

VIENNA, Austria - Crude oil prices have continued their retreat as production continues to recover in the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast.  But traders are keeping a close eye on another storm off Florida.

Analysts say there is some relief that Hurricane Katrina's damage to petroleum facilities is not as bad as originally feared.

For example, Chevron says most of its offshore facilities were not significantly damaged.  It will still be days before it knows when its largest oil refinery in the region will start running.  Chevron says a week after Katrina hit, its production is nearly half of the pre-hurricane level.

Crude is now trading below $66 a barrel.  It is down more than $5 a barrel from the highs seen last week.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)