MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent oil prices drop modestly

Oil prices dropped modestly on the London and New York futures markets Jan. 26 as the trading sessions for US light, sweet crude oil veered between gains and losses before closing down for the day.

A statement from an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries spokesman caught the attention of traders and analysts, who said the comment from OPEC seemed to support oil prices.

“I think maybe they reached the bottom and will see some rebound very soon,” OPEC Sec. Gen. Abdalla Salem el-Badri told Reuters news service during a Jan. 26 interview on oil prices.

The New York Mercantile Exchange crude oil contract for March delivery fell 44¢ on Jan. 26, closing at $45.15/bbl. The April contract dropped 44¢ to $45.88/bbl.

US natural gas prices fell on updated forecasts calling for February to be warmer than previously expected. The drop in gas prices came despite a blizzard in the New York region.

The NYMEX gas contract for February was down 10.5¢ to a rounded $2.88/MMbtu. Meanwhile, the cash gas price at Henry Hub, La., was $2.93/MMbtu on Jan. 26, down 3¢.

Heating oil for February edged down by less than a penny to a rounded $1.64/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for February was down 3¢ to a rounded $1.32/gal.

The March ICE contract for Brent crude oil declined 63¢ to settle at $48.16/bbl. The April contract dropped 56¢ to $49.38/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for February was down $1.75 to $475.25/tonne.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of 12 benchmark crudes on Jan. 26 was $42.90/bbl, down 79¢ from the previous day.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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

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