MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent oil futures plunge

Crude oil prices dipped by more than $3/bbl on both the New York and London markets Oct. 14, which analysts attributed to stagnant world oil demand growth. US light, sweet crude settled Oct. 14 under $82/bbl.

The plunging oil prices came after Paris-based International Energy Agency released a monthly market report in which it revealed a reduction to its 2014 oil demand growth forecast (OGJ Online, Oct. 14, 2014).

Meanwhile, oil production has been rising, particularly production from US unconventional plays.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has been unwilling to reduce production by its members. The next regularly scheduled OPEC meeting is Nov. 27.

Analysts are watching Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer. Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal reportedly wrote a letter saying Saudi Arabia wants to maintain its market share even if it means cutting prices.

Ritterbush Associates issued a research note saying it believes “a long-term price bottom will likely be established next month,” after OPEC’s meeting.

The US Energy Information Administration was scheduled to release its weekly US petroleum inventory estimate on Oct. 16, marking a 1-day delay from normal because of a federal holiday on Oct. 13.

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange November crude oil contract dipped $3.90 on Oct. 14, closing at $81.84/bbl. The December contract price fell $3.78/bbl to $81.20/bbl.

The natural gas contract for November fell 10¢ to a rounded $3.82/MMbtu. The cash gas price at Henry Hub, La., edged up 4¢, closing at $3.91/MMbtu.

Heating oil for November delivery declined 8.5¢ to a rounded $2.47/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for November delivery gave up 7.5¢ to a rounded $2.18/gal.

The November ICE contract for Brent crude oil was down $3.85 to close at $85.04/bbl. The December contract was down $4 to $85.41/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for November gave up $14.25, settling at $746.25/tonne.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $85.14/bbl on Oct. 14, down 79¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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