MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices surged to sustain 3-day rally

The price for light, sweet crude oil for October delivery regained momentum after stalling briefly on the New York market Aug. 31 to settle above $49/bbl, hitting the highest closing price in nearly 6 weeks and marking the third consecutive day of an oil-price rally.

The US Energy Information Administration reported a 1.1% decline in monthly crude oil production for June compared with revised May statistics (OGJ Online, Sept. 1, 2015). Estimated US crude oil production in June was 9.3 million b/d compared with 9.6 million b/d in April.

Separately, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries issued a monthly bulletin Aug. 31 saying “continuing pressure on prices, brought about by higher crude production, coupled with market speculation, remains a cause of concern for OPEC and its members.”

On Sept. 1, the Wall Street Journal reported China National United Oil Corp., the trading division of China National Petroleum Corp., recently bought nearly 90% of the oil cargoes on the Dubai spot market during August.

WSJ said traders involved in the Dubai market believe those purchases distorted prices, making them higher than they would have been otherwise.

Energy prices

The October crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange surged $3.98 to $49.20/bbl Aug. 31 while the November crude oil contract gained $3.95 to $49.93/bbl.

The natural gas contract for October dropped 2.6¢ to a rounded $2.69/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price gained 2¢ to $2.68/MMbtu.

Heating oil for September delivery jumped a rounded 10¢ to a rounded $1.67/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for September climbed a rounded 12¢ to a rounded $1.64/gal.

The October ICE contract for Brent crude escalated by $4.10 to $54.15/bbl, and the November contract climbed $4.13 to $54.99/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for September climbed $8.25 to $485.75/tonne.

The average price for the OPEC basket of 12 benchmark crudes rose $1.82 to $47.01/bbl on Aug. 31.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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