MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil price continues decline awaiting inventory

Light, sweet crude oil prices for December delivery declined on the New York market Oct. 27 awaiting the release of the weekly government inventory report for oil and products.

The US Energy Information Administration said commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, rose 3.4 million bbl for the week ended Oct. 23 compared with the previous week. EIA’s latest estimated total was 480 million bbl, the Petroleum Status Report said. The inventory report has risen for five consecutive weeks.

Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal before the report had said they expected the inventory would increase by 3.7 million bbl. In its own weekly estimate, the American Petroleum Institute said inventories rose 4.1 million bbl.

Total motor gasoline inventories decreased 1.1 million bbl, and EIA said that level was above the upper limit of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and blending components inventories decreased.

Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 3 million bbl but are in the middle of the average range for this time of year. Propane-propylene inventories remained unchanged last week and are well above the upper limit of the average range.

US refinery inputs averaged more than 15.6 million b/d for the week ended Oct. 23, which was 271,000 b/d more than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 87.6% of capacity last week.

Gasoline production increased last week, averaging 9.7 million b/d. Distillate fuel production increased last week, averaging 4.9 million b/d.

US crude oil imports averaged more than 7 million b/d last week, down 439,000 b/d from the previous week. Over the last 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged more than 7.2 million b/d, 3.8% below the same 4-week period last year.

Total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, last week averaged 722,000 b/d, and distillate fuel imports averaged 108,000 b/d last week.

Energy prices

The December crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 78¢ on Oct. 27 to $43.20/bbl. The January crude oil contract declined 78¢ to $44.12/bbl.

The natural gas contract for November rose 3¢ to a rounded $2.09/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price was $2.07/MMbtu, down 7¢.

Heating oil for November delivery decreased less than a penny to a rounded $1.42/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for November dropped a fraction of a cent to remain at a rounded $1.29/gal.

The December ICE contract for Brent crude was down 73¢ to $46.81/bbl. The January contract decreased 70¢ to $47.55/bbl. ICE gas oil for November settled at $431/tonne, down $6.70.

The average price for the OPEC basket of 12 benchmark crudes for Oct. 26 was $42.40/bbl, down 73¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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