MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices edge up, but decline trend continues

Crude oil prices on the New York market edged above $41/bbl Aug. 20, but started sliding again in early Aug. 21 trading and looked to be on track for the eighth straight weekly loss, which would mark its longest decline in 29 years. Meanwhile, Brent crude fell for a second day on the London market Aug. 20.

US traders and analysts on Aug. 21 awaited weekly rig count statistics from Baker Hughes Inc. for indications about future oil and gas production.

Preliminary data showed the Caixin China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to a 6-year low in August following the surprise devaluation of the Chinese currency earlier this month. The devaluation raised concerns among international investors about China’s economic health.

The September crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 34¢ on Aug. 20 to $41.14/bbl. The October contract was up 5¢ to $41.32/bbl.

The natural gas contract for September rose nearly 4¢ to a rounded $2.75/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price fell 2¢ to $2.71/MMbtu.

Heating oil for September delivery dropped 2¢ to a rounded $1.50/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for September was down 2¢ to a rounded $1.53/gal.

The October ICE contract for Brent crude nudged down 54¢ to $46.62/bbl, and the November contract declined 58¢ to $47.35/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for September dropped $2.25 to $460.75/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes fell on Aug. 20 to $44.13/bbl, down $1.26.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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