MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent crude oil prices surge

Crude oil prices for May delivery spiked to close $3/bbl higher on the New York market Apr. 6, marking the biggest one-day gain since Feb. 3. Analysts said the $52.14/bbl Apr. 6 settlement for light, sweet crude was the highest since Feb. 17.

Brent prices for May delivery were up $3.17/bbl on the London market. The rally followed the long Easter holiday weekend in which Saudi Arabia raised its crude price for delivery to Asian buyers while the dollar fell in value, making dollar-based crude oil less expensive to buyers using foreign currencies.

US and European futures markets were closed Apr. 3 in observance of Good Friday.

Genscape Inc. told the Wall Street Journal that supplies in Cushing, Okla., fell by nearly 300,000 bbl during Mar. 31 to Apr. 3, marking the first draw in supplies since early December 2014.

Saudi Aramco Oil Co. increased its prices for crude oil for May delivery to Asia while lowering prices on most of its crude grades for the US, traders noted.

“Probably the most encouraging sign for oil prices is that supply drawdown,” Joseph Tanious, Bessemer Trust principal and investment strategist with Bessemer wealth-management firm in New York, told WSJ. “But I’d want to see more confirmation of that—that it’s happening in a sustained way—before we call a bottom.”

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange May crude oil contract soared $3 on Apr. 6 to $52.14/bbl. The June contract jumped $2.97 to $53.57/bbl.

The natural gas contract for May fell 6.3¢ to a rounded $2.65/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price on Apr. 7 was $2.62/MMbtu, up 3¢.

Heating oil for May delivery climbed 8¢ to $1.76/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for May declined rose 8¢ to a rounded $1.84/gal.

The May ICE contract for Brent crude gained $3.17 to $58.12/bbl, while the June contract was up by $3.20 to $59.29/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for April rose $24.75 to $538.75/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $53.20 on Apr. 6, down 28¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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