MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil price soars to 2015 high

Crude oil prices for May delivery soared by more than $3/bbl on the New York market Apr. 15 to close above $56/bbl, a high for 2015, while the Brent contract for May delivery closed on the London market at above $60/bbl.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Apr. 16 issued its Monthly Oil Market Report for April, forecasting 2015 world oil demand growth at 1.17 million b/d, which was the same outlook as its previous MOMR.

“Almost two thirds of 2015 oil demand growth is seen coming from China, other Asia [countries], and the Middle East,” OPEC said, adding it expects demand for OPEC crude oil will rise while demand for non-OPEC crude oil will fall.

“Total oil consumption in 2015 is expected to be around 92.45 million b/d,” the cartel’s MOMR said, adding it anticipates a slowing in North American unconventional production.

“It is expected that US tight oil and Canadian oil sands output in the coming months will decrease after the significant declines seen recently in rig counts,” OPEC said.

Separately, the US Energy Information Administration reported natural gas in underground storage across the Lower 48 was an estimated 1.5 tcf as of Apr. 10.

This represents a net increase of 63 bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 692 bcf higher than last year at this time and 145 bcf below the 5-year average of a rounded 1.7 tcf, EIA’s weekly Gas Storage Report said.

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange May crude oil contract rose $3.10 on Apr. 15 to $56.39/bbl. The June contract climbed $2.82 to $57.69/bbl.

The natural gas contract for May rose 8¢ to $2.61/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price on Apr. 15 was up 3¢ to $2.58/MMbtu.

Heating oil for May delivery rose 8.7¢ to a rounded $1.89/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for May was up 10¢ to a rounded $1.94/gal.

The May ICE contract for Brent crude jumped $1.89 to $60.32/bbl, while the June contract soared $3.51 to $63.32/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for May rose $15 to $560.75/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $57.01/bbl on Apr. 15, up $1.10.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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