MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices edge down on unchanged Fed policy

Crude oil futures for July delivery edged down slightly on the New York market June 17 to settle just above $59.90/bbl but prices jumped above $60/bbl in early June 18 trading as the value of the dollar fell against other currencies.

Oil trades in dollars, and the Wall Street Journal Dollar Index dipped to a 1-month low after the US Federal Reserve Board indicated June 17 that generally policy remains unchanged for now.

An interest rate hike increase could come later this year, Fed Chair Janet Yellen told reporters at a news conference following the conclusion of the central bank’s 2-day policy meeting.

Meanwhile, the US Energy Information Administration reported oil inventories fell for the seventh consecutive week (OGJ Online, June 17, 2015).

EIA’s estimate of US oil production declined 21,000 bbl to 9.59 million b/d, reflecting decisions by many independent oil companies to slow drilling and well completions given the oil-price downturn.

Meanwhile, EIA estimated natural gas in underground storage across the Lower 48 at 2.43 tcf as of June 12, marking a net increase of 89 bcf from the previous week.

Stocks were 730 bcf higher than last year at this time and 46 bcf above the 5-year average of a rounded 2.39 tcf, the Gas Storage Report said.

Energy prices

The July crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 5¢ on June 17 to settle at $59.92/bbl. The August contract was down 12¢ to settle at $60.38/bbl.

The natural gas contract for July was down 39¢ to $2.85/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price was unchanged at $2.93/MMbtu.

Heating oil for July was up a rounded 2.5¢ to a rounded $1.91/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for July declined 2.4¢ to a rounded $2.10/gal.

The August ICE contract for Brent crude was up 17¢ to $63.87/bbl while the September contract gained 18¢ to $64.67/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for July was up $7.75 to $585.50/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes for June 17 was $60.27/bbl, up 19¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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