MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices retreat; Brent sets high for 2015

Crude oil futures settled moderately lower Apr. 24 on the New York market while Brent crude futures on the London market set a fresh high for the year with the Apr. 24 settlement.

Analysts said Brent was supported by concerned about possible supply disruption from the Middle East because of continuing civil unrest in Yemen, which is near Bab el-Mandeb, a major oil shipping route.

Saudi Arabia reportedly continued airstrikes in Yemen last week after earlier indications that it was focus on negotiations rather than military action.

Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston, said, “The market is in a delicate balance right now.”

The New York Mercantile Exchange contract for light, sweet crude for June delivery settled at $57.15/bbl, down 59¢. The July contract settled down 36¢ to $58.90/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for May held steady at a rounded $2.53/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price increased 1¢ to $2.56/MMbtu.

Heating oil for May delivery gained a fraction of a cent to a rounded $1.93/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for May was up 1¢ to a rounded $2/gal.

The June ICE contract for Brent settled at $65.28/bbl, up 43¢. That was the highest front-month settlement for Brent since December 2014.

The July ICE contract for Brent was up 46¢ to $65.97/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for May rose $1.50 to $587.25/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $60.95/bbl on Apr. 24, up $1.81.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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

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