MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent continue upward momentum

Crude oil prices for May delivery climbed for a sixth consecutive day on both New York and London markets Apr. 16, which analysts attributed to signs of a possible slowing in US oil production.

The US Energy Information Administration’s latest weekly inventory report showed a rise of 1.3 million bbl in crude oil supplies for the week ended Apr. 10, but that increase was less than half of the analysts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had expected (OGJ Online, Apr. 15, 2015).

Meanwhile, oil traders continued to monitor for signs of increased volatility in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia started air strikes inside Yemen nearly 3 weeks ago. US President Barack Obama has scheduled a summit at Camp David in May where Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain are expected to attend. Iraqi officials have said they will not attend the summit.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in Washington, DC, on Apr. 15 that Saudi Arabia’s air strikes on Yemen made no sense. He urged world leaders to push for a ceasefire in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia reported to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that it increased its oil production by 658,000 b/d during March to an average 10.294 million, which confirmed earlier statements by Oil Minister Al-Naimi that Saudi production was 10.3 million b/d (OGJ Online, Apr. 8, 2015).

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange May crude oil contract rose 32¢ on Apr. 16 to $56.71/bbl. The June contract was up 42¢ to $58.11/bbl.

The natural gas contract for May rose 7¢ to $2.68/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price on Apr. 16 held unchanged at $2.58/MMbtu.

Heating oil for May delivery rose nearly 2¢ to a rounded $1.91/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for May was down a fraction of a penny to remain at a rounded $1.94/gal.

The June ICE contract for Brent crude combed 66¢ to $63.98/bbl, while the July contract was up 63¢ to $64.76/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for May rose $11.50 to $572.25/tonne.

The average price for the OPEC’s basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $58.88/bbl on Apr. 16, up $1.87.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

*Paula Dittrick is editor of OGJ’s Unconventional Oil & Gas Report.

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