MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices gain on IEA’s demand forecast

The front-month light, sweet crude oil contract gained modestly on the New York market Aug. 12, which analysts largely attributed to a monthly market report from the International Energy Agency saying demand for crude is increasing at its fastest pace in 5 years.

IEA forecast global oil demand will grow 1.6 million b/d in 2015, up 300,000 b/d from the Paris group’s previous forecast. The August Oil Market Report called for global demand to average 94.2 million b/d this year (OGJ Online, Aug. 12, 2015).

US gasoline supplies fell faster than analysts had expected for the week ended Aug. 7, said a weekly government inventory report. The gasoline inventory shrinkage and reports of problems with a refinery triggered a rally in US gasoline prices on Aug. 13.

Gasoline prices rose after the Energy Information Administration said the inventory fell by an estimated 1.3 million bbl for the week ended Aug. 7 compared with the previous week.

Analysts had anticipated a fall of 800,000 bbl, the Wall Street Journal reported in a survey before the Petroleum Status Report was released.

Meanwhile, BP PLC has suggested the largest distillation unit at the Whiting, Ind., refinery could be down for about a month, tightening US Midwestern gasoline supplies and raising prices for gasoline and other products.

Genscape on Aug. 9 issued an alert that the 240,000-b/d crude distillation unit and associated vacuum distillation unit at the 405,000-b/d Whiting refinery had shut. On Aug. 10, media reports confirmed BP was repairing the units, known together as the Pipestill 12 crude section, which was recently upgraded to process heavy Canadian crude.

Energy prices

The September crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 22¢ on Aug. 12 to settle at $43.30/bbl. The October contract was up 14¢ to $44.01/bbl.

The natural gas contract for September was up nearly 9¢ to a rounded $2.93/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price climbed 7¢ to $2.91/MMbtu.

Heating oil for September delivery climbed 2¢ to a rounded $1.59/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for September gained nearly 7¢ to a rounded $1.76/gal.

The September ICE contract for Brent crude rose 48¢ to $49.66/bbl on Aug. 12. The October contract was up 47¢ to $50.18/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for September added $6.50 to $477.75/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes for Aug. 12 was $47.09, down 57¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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

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