crude oil nine month high

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    Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil in London rose to its highest price since before the Iraq war as freezing weather in the U.S. Northeast drained supplies already at a 28-year low.

    Temperatures in Boston will be below freezing for the next three days as Arctic air flows over the region, according to the Weather Channel Web site. The U.S. Department of Energy said this week the nation's crude oil reserves touched the lowest since 1975, in part because OPEC cut production by 900,000 barrels a day in November.

    ``The cold snap doesn't look like it's going to let up and with supplies at historic lows, it's causing real concern amongst traders,'' said Dave Thomas, an oil analyst at Commerzbank Securities in London.

    Brent crude oil for February delivery rose 72 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $31.80 a barrel on the International Petroleum Exchange at 11:29 a.m. That's the highest price since March 14.

    On the New York Mercantile Exchange, February crude oil jumped 50 cents to $34.38 a barrel. Prices have climbed 6 percent in the past week as cold weather across the U.S. boosted fuel demand. The U.S. is the world's biggest energy user.
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