MARKET WATCH: Oil futures stay below $49/bbl after gain in US rig count

Light, sweet crude oil futures prices fell modestly July 24 to remain under $49/bbl on the New York market after Baker Hughes Inc. reported the US rig count jumped, and most of the gain came from onshore rigs.

The US drilling rig count reached 876 during the week ended July 24, Baker Hughes said in its weekly report (OGJ Online, July 24, 2015).

Separately, Lynnden Branigan of Barclays in London said he reviewed his technical analysis for oil futures prices given “choppy range trade” for the week ended July 24.

“Near-term risk is a squeeze lower in range,” Branigan said in a July 27 Commodities Weekly note. “Overall, we expect sideways chop through the third-quarter 2015, albeit at slightly lower levels,” than $50/bbl.

The September crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 31¢ on July 27 to settle at $48.14/bbl. The October contract was down 31¢ to $48.61/bbl.

The natural gas contract for August was down 40¢ to a rounded $2.78/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price was down 10¢ to $2.81/MMbtu.

Heating oil for August delivery was down 2.4¢ to a rounded $1.63/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for August fell by 2.4¢ to reach a rounded $1.83/gal.

The September ICE contract for Brent crude decreased 65¢ to $54.62/bbl on July 23. The October contract was down 63¢ to $55.02/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for August was down $10.25 to $500.50/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes for July 24 was $52.08/bbl, down 96¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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