Tropical storm Ida pushes oil to almost $80 a barrel

OIL yesterday rose three per cent towards $80 a barrel after Tropical Storm Ida forced the shut in of US oil and gas production, helping to support prices.<br /><br />US crude for December delivery rose $2.34 to $79.77 a barrel by yesterday evening. London Brent crude gained $2.21 to $78.08.<br /><br />Ida, the first real storm threat of the 2009 season, was downgraded from a hurricane yesterday, but production remained shut in as producers waited for the storm to pass over the Gulf.<br /><br />&ldquo;Crude is up on the weak dollar and the impact of Tropical Storm Ida, overshadowing some bearish news of the Saudis raising supplies available and China raising fuel prices,&rdquo; said Phil Flynn, analyst at PFGBest Research.<br /><br />Crude has been bolstered by stronger equities and a weaker dollar in recent months.