MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices whipsaw, ending lower after inventory gain

Light, sweet crude oil prices for November delivery dropped about 70¢/bbl to close under $48/bbl on the New York market Oct. 7, ending a 3-day rally after a weekly US government report showed a gain in the oil and product inventory (OGJ Online, Oct. 7, 2015).

During Oct. 7 trading, crude prices settled lower after hitting a high of $49.71/bbl for the day. The session’s high was the highest level in a month.

The Wall Street Journal reported oil prices on the New York market have moved up or down more than 5% in a single day on 19 days so far this year compared with just one day during 2014.

On Oct. 8, oil market participants awaited the afternoon release of minutes from the latest Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting. Meanwhile, US jobless claims statistics showed the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits fell by 13,000 to 263,000 for the week ended Oct. 3, marking the lowest level since about July 15.

Regarding natural gas in underground storage across the Lower 48, the US Energy Information Administration estimated levels at 3.63 tcf as of Oct. 2, which marked a net increase of 95 bcf from the previous week.

Stocks were 443 bcf higher than last year at this time and 155 bcf above the 5-year average of nearly 3.48 tcf, the Gas Storage Report showed.

Energy prices

The November crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed down 72¢ to $47.81/bbl on Oct. 7, and the December crude oil contract dropped 62¢ to $48.40/bbl.

The natural gas contract for November edged up less than a penny to remain at a rounded $2.47/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price climbed 11¢ to $2.46/MMbtu.

Heating oil for November delivery was down 3¢ to rounded $1.58/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for November was down 4.6¢ to a rounded $1.39/gal.

The November ICE contract for Brent crude declined 59¢ to $51.33/bbl, and the December contract dropped 68¢ to settle at $51.77/bbl. ICE gas oil for November settled at $488.75/tonne, down $1.50.

The average price for the OPEC basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $48.24/bbl on Oct. 7, up $2.16.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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