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Oil surges over $70 on Katrina

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U.S. oil prices surged to a record above $70 a barrel on Monday as one of the country's biggest storms tore through the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, forcing oil producers and refiners to shut down operations.

U.S. crude oil futures soared nearly $5 a barrel in opening trade to touch a fresh peak of $70.80 a barrel, surpassing last week's $68 high to the highest price since the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) began trading contracts in 1983.
It later traded up $3.42 a barrel, 5.2 percent, at $69.55.

Oil product and natural gas prices also shot higher to records, with gasoline soaring 10 percent to $2.13 a gallon and heating oil rocketing past $2 a gallon for the first time. Natural gas prices were up 20 percent.

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