MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices drop modestly awaiting Fed meeting

Light, sweet crude oil prices for October dropped modestly on Sept. 14 on the New York market while Brent crude oil prices dropped more than $1/bbl on the London market, but oil prices appeared to have reversed course again in early trading Sept. 15.

Market observers await results of a US Federal Reserve policy meeting scheduled for Sept. 17. The question pending is when the Fed might decide to raise interest rates. Meanwhile, the front-month US light, sweet crude oil price remains down nearly 10% since Aug. 30.

Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq each cut its official price for October crude oil deliveries to Asia, amid concerns about China’s economy and ample world oil supply.

Saudi Arabia cut its price by 30¢/bbl, Iran by 35¢/bbl, and Iraq by 50¢/bbl for light crude. Analysts said the move reminded them of measures taken earlier this year when crude oil prices fell below $50/bbl.

The spread between US light, sweet crude and Brent was $2.37/bbl after the markets closed Sept. 14. Brent was the higher of the two, as normal.

Energy prices

The October crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 63¢ to $44/bbl on Sept. 14 while the November crude oil contract was down 73¢ to $44.43/bbl.

The natural gas contract for October rose 6.5¢ to a rounded $2.76/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price was up 4¢ to $2.70.

Heating oil for October delivery declined 4.6¢ to a rounded $1.50/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for October was down 6.6¢ to a rounded $1.30/gal.

The October ICE contract for Brent crude decreased $1.77 to $46.37/bbl, and the November contract was down $1.69 to $47.35/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for October was down $8.50 to $464.25/tonne.

The average price for the OPEC basket of 12 benchmark crudes dropped 79¢ to $43.85/bbl on Sept. 14.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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

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