MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices gains modestly awaiting inventory report

Crude oil prices rose 80¢/bbl on the New York Sept. 29 to settle slightly above $45/bbl as traders and analysts awaited the weekly government inventory report on crude oil and products, which showed an increase.

The Energy Information Administration estimated US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased 4 million bbl for the week ended Sept. 25 compared with the previous week. That latest total was 457.9 million bbl, the Petroleum Status Report said.

Total motor gasoline inventories increased 3.3 million bbl, and EIA said that level was near the upper limit of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and blending components inventories increased last week. Distillate fuel inventories decreased 300,000 bbl for the week ended Sept. 25 but are in the middle of the average range for this time of year.

Propane-propylene inventories rose 1.7 million bbl and are well above the upper limit of the average range, EIA said.

US refinery inputs averaged 16 million b/d for the week ended Sept. 25, which was 241,000 b/d less than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 89.8% of capacity last week.

Gasoline production increased, averaging about 9.7 million b/d. Distillate fuel production decreased slightly last week, averaging 5 million b/d.

US crude oil imports averaged 7.6 million b/d, up 378,000 b/d from the previous week. Over the last 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged more that 7.3 million b/d, 1.7% below the same 4-week period last year.

Last week, total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, averaged 990,000 b/d. Distillate fuel imports averaged 56,000 b/d.

Energy prices

The November crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange added 80¢ to reach $45.23/bbl on Sept. 29 while the December crude oil contract was up 77¢ to $45.64/bbl.

The natural gas contract for November dropped 8¢ to a rounded $2.59/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price dropped 10¢ to $2.53/MMbtu.

Heating oil for October delivery gained 2¢ to a rounded $1.50/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for October was up 1.4¢ to a rounded $1.36/gal.

The November ICE contract for Brent crude added 89¢ to $48.23/bbl, and the December contract gained 85¢ to settle at $48.86/bbl. ICE gas oil for October settled at $456/tonne, down by 50¢.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $43.49/bbl on Sept. 29, down 5¢ from the previous day.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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