MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices drops below $41/bbl on higher crude inventory

Crude oil prices on the New York market dropped more than $1/bbl on both the New York and London markets on Aug. 19, with light, sweet crude oil prices for September settling below $41/bbl.

Analysts attributed the price drop to an unexpected rise in US crude inventories. The US Energy Information Administration’s weekly Petroleum Status Report indicated that US commercial crude inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased 2.6 million bbl for the week ended Aug. 14 compared with the previous week.

Analysts previously surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected supplies would decline by 1.1 million bbl on the week.

Meanwhile, light, sweet oil prices set fresh 6-year lows again, and analysts said the downward momentum could continue.

“Given where we are now, there is a 90% likelihood that we will dip into the $30s,” said Chris Main, Citigroup Inc. oil strategist.

Energy prices

The September crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1.82 on Aug. 19 to $40.80/bbl. The October contract was down $1.85 to $41.27/bbl.

The natural gas contract for September edged up 1¢ to a rounded $2.72/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price rose 2¢ to $2.73/MMbtu.

Heating oil for September delivery dropped 4¢ to a rounded $1.52/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for September was down nearly 9¢ to a rounded $1.56/gal.

The October ICE contract for Brent crude decreased $1.65 to $47.16/bbl, while the November contract dropped $1.65 to $47.93/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for September declined $8 to $463/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes for Aug. 19 was $45.39/bbl, down 38¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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