MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent oil prices rise on lower US rig count

Light, sweet crude oil prices for November delivery rose on the New York market Oct. 5 as did Brent crude oil prices on the London market, which analysts largely attributed to cuts in US production capacity as indicated by a falling rig count.

Goldman Sachs analysts now expect US production will decline 225,000 b/d in 2016 compared with 2015 levels based on the Baker Hughes Inc. rig count of a total 809 rigs for the week ended Oct. 2, which was down 29 units. The total was the lowest since May 3, 2002 (OGJ Online, Oct. 2, 2015).

On international oil markets, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters in Sochi, Russia, that Russian and Saudi officials planned to meet in late October to discuss energy and other issues. Novak also said Russia is ready to meet with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC representatives to discuss oil markets.

Libya’s oil production has dropped to 300,000 b/d, which is less than 25% of what it produced before the 2011 fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Reuters reported. Two rival governments continue seeking control of Libya. One government is internationally recognized and the other is a self-declared administration.

Energy prices

The November crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 72¢ to $46.26/bbl on Oct. 5, and the December crude oil contract was up 75¢ to $46.75/bbl.

The natural gas contract for November declined a fraction of a cent to remain at a rounded $2.45/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price rose 6¢ to $2.32/MMbtu.

Heating oil for November delivery climbed 2.8¢ to rounded $1.55/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for November was up 4.4¢ to a rounded $1.38/gal.

The November ICE contract for Brent crude rose $1.12 to $49.25/bbl, and the December contract increased $1.08 to settle at $49.87/bbl. ICE gas oil for October settled at $474/tonne, up $21.75.

The average price for the OPEC basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $44.89/bbl on Oct. 5, which was up $1.13 from an Oct. 2 price of $43.76/bbl. OPEC revised its Oct. 2 basket price from $44/bbl to $43.76/bbl.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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