MARKET WATCH: Crude prices slide, then climb on international news

Crude oil prices on the New York and London markets dropped on Apr. 27, settling down after a weeks-long rally. However, prices crept up again early on Apr. 28 following reports that the Iranian navy seized a Marshall Islands-flagged commercial cargo vessel that was initially reported as belonging to the US.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy oil minister, told reporters on Apr. 27 that the kingdom, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ largest producer, “is interested in maintaining its share in the market and interested in keeping its customers.”

He said the country is willing to supply China with more crude if demand dictates it. The 12 OPEC member countries will meet June 5 in Vienna to discuss the oil market and whether they plan to maintain collective production at the current level of 31.5 million b/d.

The average price for the OPEC’s basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $61.06/bbl on Apr. 27, up 11¢.

The New York Mercantile Exchange June crude oil contract fell 16¢ on Apr. 27 to $56.99/bbl. The July contract fell 28¢ to $58.62/bbl.

The June ICE contract for Brent crude fell 45¢ to $64.83/bbl, while the July contract fell 38¢ to $65.59/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for May lost $2.50 to $584.75/tonne.

The natural gas contract for May dropped 4.1¢ to $2.49/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price was $2.48/MMbtu, down 8¢.

Heating oil for May edged down less than a penny to a rounded $1.92/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for May edged up less than a penny to a rounded $2.01/gal.

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