The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 13, 2001 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

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Friday, April 13, 2001
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THE SAUNA JOURNAL WORLD FRIDAY, APRIL 13. 2001 t <t3 T WORLD OIL SUPPLY Oil forecast ominous for U.S. Another summer of high gas prices may be on the horizon By BRUCE STANLEY The Associated Press LONDON — Crude oil inventories are so low major importing countries could face tight gasoline supplies and volatile prices at the pump during the peak summer driving season, a respected study said Thursday. This month's cuts in production by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are likely to exacerbate the problem, causing uncertainty for refiners who must buy crude to process gasoline and other refined products, the International Energy Agency said in its monthly energy report. "It is widely expected that the U.S. gasoline markets will be tight again this summer.... Consequently, price spikes through the peak demand season are a possibility to contend with," the lEA said. The Paris-based lEA is an agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a club of the world's wealthiest nations. Its forecast comes as somber news for North American motorists, who endured a sharp increase in prices at the pump only last summer. The U.S. is the world's largest consumer of petroleum products. "We foresee not total shortages of gasoline but the possibility once again of regional supply imbalances and a lot of volatility in the market," said the report's editor, Klaus Re- haag. "Ultimately we'll have enough supply, but it could end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, especially if there are unforeseen circumstances" such as problems with pipelines or refineries, he said from Paris. Lawrence Eagles, head of commodity research at Lon- Low oil inventories Major oil-importing countries may face tight gasoline supplies and volatile pump prices this summer because Inventories of crude oil are low. Closing stock level, in millions of barrels M February 2001* February 1998 North America I 389 407 Europe Pacific region 1175 i193 330 i 353 The Associated Press oil brokers on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange trade oil futures Thursday in New York. Crude oil inventories are so low that major importing countries could face tight gasoline supplies and volatile prices this summer. •Estimated T U.S. HOSTAGE Philippine troop$ save U.S. hostage don brokerage GNI Ltd., said the agency's prediction of potential trouble in gasoline markets was no surprise. "It's a valid point," he said, noting that many refineries have temporarily curtailed production due to the need for seasonal maintenance. "There's not enough capacity producing gasoline at the moment," he said from his office in Northern Ireland. Last spring, U.S. refineries were so busy making heating oil they were slow to shift to producing gasoline. Regional shortages of gasoline were the result, causing retail prices to spike in several parts of the United States. However, Peter Gignoux of Salomon Smith Barney said fears of a gasoline shortage this time around are not yet justified. "There are some legitimate worries, but I think some advocates of higher gasoline price are a little overzealous," he said. Gignoux, head of SSB's petroleum desk in London, argued that refineries were enjoying "terrific" profit margins. "This should make refiners buy crude and make gaso­ line." Analysts said it would take a few more weeks before the prospects for gasoline prices this summer become clear. Major importers drew down on their existing oil inventories for the third consecutive month in March, the lEA said, and this contributed to a firming up of crude prices during the second half of the month. Overall, prices fell sharply from their levels in February due to deepening fears about the American and world economies and the strength of future oil demand. The report said contracts of light, sweet crude fell by $2.44 per barrel in the United States, while contracts of North Sea Brent crude dropped by $3.13 per barrel in Europe. In trading Thursday, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for April delivery was up 45 cents to $28.63 in afternoon trading Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, where April unleaded gasoline was up .16 cents to 92.08. On London's International Petroleum Exchange, May Brent crude fell 1 cent to settle at $26.53. Prices for gasoline and oth- SOURCE: International Energy Agency AP er refined products fell also, but by smaller amounts, the lEA said. Signs of economic weakness led the agency to revise its expectations for annual oil demand. It forecast this year's growth in demand to equal 1.33 million barrels per day — 6 percent less than it had predicted last month. Oil supplies increased in March by 1 percent to 78.2 billion barrels a day The biggest factor in the increase was Iraq, which boosted output by 530,000 barrels a day The United States, Mexico and Britain also made substantial increases in production. Supplies are likely to decrease this spring with the 10 OPEC nations other than Iraq agreeing to trim their official output by 1 million barrels effective April 1. The lEA noted that OPEC produced 650,000 barrels a day above its March target, and it suggested this quota busting helped keep crude prices lower than they would have been otherwise. The lEA estimated the average world demand for oil at 77.3 billion barrels a day during the first three months of the year Thousands of troops respond to IVIuslim rebel uprising By PAUL ALEXANDER The Associated Press MANILA, Philippines — Troops and police stormed a jungle hideout Thursday to free a U.S. hostage from Muslim rebels who had threatened to behead him as a grisly "birthday present" to the crwiiiiMr Philippine SCHILLING president. The hostage, 25-year-old Jeffrey Schilling of Oakland, Calif, was in good health Thursday after the raid on Jolo island 580 miles south of Manila. Marine commandos and police killed some Abu Sayyaf rebels and wounded others. Brig. Gen. Diomedio Villanueva said. After the rebels threatened to behead Schilling last week, President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo responded by declaring "all-out war" against the group, pouring 3,000 troops into the island's steamy jungles, then sending in another 1,800 reinforcements early Thurs- T SCIENCE STATION BRIEFLY • BEER STRIKE Milosevic chest pains not sign of disease BELGRADE, Yugoslavia — Physicians examining Slobodan Milosevic Thursday found no evidence of heart disease after the former Yugoslav president was rushed from his jail cell to a military hospital complaining of chest pains. Milosevic was taken from Belgrade's Central Prison under police escort after falling ill Wednesday The transfer came hours after his Socialist Party released a statement claiming his health was jeopardized by his imprisonment. Justice Minister Vladan Batic of Serbia, the dominant Yugoslav republic, said a 10-member medical team at the hospital found nothing other than high blood pressure and the former president's condition is "not alarming." Serb officials said Thursday Milosevic's health would not affect his trial for wrongdoing while in office and predicted he would be sent back to prison soon. Bush, Putin to meet sometime in July PARIS — President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet for the first time in July in Italy, if not sooner. Secretary of State Colin Powell and his Russian counterpart said Thursday U.S.-Russia ties have been frayed recently, but Powell and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov indicated in a joint news conference they were seeking more cooperation. As to the recent spy scandal that resulted in the U.S. expulsion of about 50 Russian diplomats and retaliatory expulsions by Moscow, Powell said, "We've moved on from that incident." "We are both interested in turning this page," Ivanov said, speaking through a trans- ' Uliim The lun Wccct Sets" Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, April 14th «1.00 Donation - i***"''"'''**^ All proceeds go to Ai j Big Brothers/ k Big Sisters Program 11:00 A.M- 5 years and under. 12:30 P.M 6 through 10 years. lator. For first time since 1759, fruteTd™ Irish pubs could go dry RAMALLAH, West Bank — Fresh clashes erupted Thursday between Israelis and Palestinians after unsuccessful U.S.- sponsored cease-fire talks, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon threatened to send troops into Palestinian-ruled territory if attacks on Israelis do not stop. • The tone on both sides hardened a day after Israeli tanks and bulldozers razed a neighborhood in a Palestinian-controlled refugee camp in Gaza. Two Palestinians were killed in the assault, which Israel said came in response to persistent Palestinian mortar attacks on Jewish settlements. Powell: U.S. will stay involved in Balkans SKOPJE, Macedonia — Secretary of State Colin Powell told Balkan leaders Thursday the United States will remain engaged in the region with political and economic support and "military assistance as appropriate." But he said the nations must decide for themselves how to deal with ethnic tensions. In his first visit to the region, Powell praised Macedonia's government for trying to develop a new political framework to resolve differences among rival factions. But while eruptions of ethnic violence have been subdued for now, "the danger is still there" for fresh outbreaks, Powell said. From Wire Service Reports Worl<ers at Guinness stout breweries strike after plant was closed By SHAWN POGATCHNIK Tlie Associated Press DUBLIN, Ireland — Brian Cloyne lifted a pint of smoldering black stout to his eye, contemplated its murky mystery against the light, then took a dramatic gialp. "In these dark days, you have to savor every pint of Guinness like it's your last," the painter told laughing workmates during a lunch break. Things aren't quite that dire yet, but Thursday's strike by workers at Guinness breweries throughout Ireland had pub owners and patrons alike wondering when the stocks of the country's most famous drink might run dry The guess is sometime next week. More than 1,000 workers shut down plants in Dublin, Waterford, Kilkenny and Dundalk, a border town to the north where Guinness plans to shut a pack-, aging plant later this month. The strikers are demanding the Dundalk plant remain open, saving 150 jobs. Guinness executives suggested the closure might be delayed 11 am' 9 pm Mon. - Sat' 1901W. Grand-Salina I pm - 5 pm Sun. • (785) 823-1339 day. She vowed to destroy the rebel movement. "They must surrender if they value their lives," she told DZMM radio in Manila. "This is a fight to the finish." Schilling's relieved mother, Carol Schilling, said she was told by the U.S. embassy'that her son would return home this weekend. "I'm going to tell him I love him and I'm going to give him a great big hug, and then I'm going to revoke his passport," she said from California. • • Schilling, a Muslim convert, was taken by the rebels after he visited their camp in Jolo, on Aug. 31. He was accompanied by his wife. Ivy Osani, the cousin of a rebel leader, Abu Sabaya. Osani was freed after the rebels seized Schilling. • • The strange circumstances of his kidnapping led some (local military officials to speculate that Schilling might have been cooperating with the rebels. • But the rebels, who are believed to number about .1,200, accused him of being a CIA agent. Schilling's mother rejected suggestions he was a wilUrig captive. • ' "I know my son was being held against his wishes,"- she said. Ill doctor may require risky evacuation from South Pole By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Colleagues are trying to figure out a way to evacuate an American doctor who has suffered a gall bladder attack at a South Pole science station. Dr Ronald S. Shemenski, 59, the physician at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica, recently passed a gallstone and has pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening condition, the National Science Foundation said Wednesday "Although he appears to be recovering and is undergoing a prophylactic course of antibiotic treatment, a relapse cannot be ruled out," said an announcement by the independent government agency, which coordinates U.S. scientific • research in Antarctica. Officials said they were considering "a range of options," including a risky, midwinter rescue by ski-equipped aircraft. In October 1999, station physician Dr Jerri Nielsen'was evacuated after she discovered a breast tumor — but also warned that if the strike goes on for long, the strikers' own jobs might be in danger. Pat Barry the company's chief spokesman, said Guinness could lose up to $18 mUlion in sales per week if the strike lasts more than a week. Such losses, he said, would "call into question the need for certain operations in Ireland, because if we don't have the business to put into those breweries, then we have to question our position." A Guinness-less Ireland seems hard to imagine for those who most love the drink, a sweet brew based on roasted barley and Wicklow Mountains water. The company founded by Arthur Guinness in 1759 today runs breweries in more than 50 countries and sells some 20 variants of the stout in 150 countries. But those closest to the tastes of modern Dublin pub-goers predict Guinness stands to lose more than the fickle public. 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