MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices settle flat ahead of contract expiration

The crude oil price on the New York market for December delivery dipped below $40/bbl briefly on Nov. 18 but regained to settle at $40.75/bbl, which analysts attributed to short covering and technical buying before the December crude oil contract expires on Nov. 20.

Crude oil for December dipped to a low of $39.91/bbl on Nov. 18, the lowest intraday mark since August.

Meanwhile, the spread between the US light, sweet crude oil price and the Brent crude oil price has narrowed in recent weeks. Brent crude oil for January closed Nov. 18 at a premium of $2.19/bbl over US light, sweet crude for the same month.

The December crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 8¢ on Nov. 18 to $40.75/bbl. The January crude oil contract was up 24¢ to $41.95/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for December was down 2.4¢ to a rounded $2.35/MMbtu. The Henry Hub gas price was up 5¢ at $2.10/MMbtu.

Heating oil for December delivery rose 1¢ to a rounded $1.38/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for December added 2.8¢ to $1.27/gal.

The January ICE contract for Brent crude increased 57¢ to $44.14/bbl. The February contract was up by 54¢ to $44.98/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for December closed at $422.50/tonne, down 75¢.

The average price for the OPEC basket of 12 benchmark crudes for Nov. 18 was $38.04/bbl, down 25¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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