MARKET WATCH: Middle East instability lifts crude prices

A pledge by the Saudi oil minister to work with other producing nations to help stabilize the market wasn’t enough to offset concerns about a global supply glut on Nov. 23 as crude oil prices fell yet again (OGJ Online, Nov. 23, 2015).

Analysts both polled by Reuters and those at Genscape said they expect crude storage builds in the US for the week ended Nov. 20, which would mark a ninth straight week of gains (OGJ Online, Nov. 18, 2015). The US Energy Information Administration will release last week’s data on Nov. 25.

Meanwhile, crude prices swung back up in early trading on Nov. 24 after reports of Turkey shooting down a Russian fighter jet on the Turkey-Syria border, a reminder of continued volatility in the Middle East.

Increases also were supported by a weaker dollar, with The Wall Street Journal’s Dollar Index declining 0.2% on Nov. 24.

Energy prices

The January crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 15¢ on Nov. 23 to $41.75/bbl. The February contract decreased 4¢ to $43.15/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for December gained 6.5¢ to $2.21/MMbtu. The Henry Hub gas price was $2.14/MMbtu, down 2¢.

Heating oil for December delivery was again virtually unchanged at a rounded $1.37/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for December rose 2.31¢ to a rounded $1.31/gal.

The January ICE contract for Brent crude increased 17¢ to $44.83/bbl. The February contract rose 12¢ to $45.55/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for December closed at $432.50/tonne, gaining $7.75.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes for Nov. 23 was $38.18/bbl, losing 19¢.

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