MARKET WATCH: Crude prices up again after 3 straight days of losses

Crude oil prices on the New York Market dropped more than $1 on Oct. 21 following a government report showing a higher-than-expected rise in US commercial crude inventories (OGJ Online, Oct. 21, 2015).

After three consecutive days of declines, however, crude prices rose in early trading on Oct. 22 amid reports that the European Central Bank decided to maintain current interest rates.

The US Energy Information Administration estimated commercial crude inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 8 million bbl for the week ended Oct. 16 from the previous week to a total of 476.6 million bbl.

Analysts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal prior to the report forecast an increase of 3.5 million bbl, while the American Petroleum Institute estimated inventories rose by 7.1 million bbl.

Elsewhere, no decision on production cuts was made during an Oct. 21 meeting of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries members.

Energy prices

The December crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1.09 on Oct. 21 to $45.20/bbl. The January crude oil contract dropped $1.08 to $45.92/bbl.

The natural gas contract for November lost 7.2¢ to a rounded $2.40/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price was $2.36/MMbtu, down 9¢.

Heating oil for November delivery was virtually unchanged at a rounded $1.45/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for November, also virtually unchanged, sat at a rounded $1.28/gal.

The December ICE contract for Brent crude lost 86¢ to $47.85/bbl, while the January contract declined 84¢ to $48.56/bbl. ICE gas oil for November settled at $443.75/tonne, up $1.

The average price for the OPEC basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $43.67/bbl on Oct. 21, down 20¢.

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