MARKET WATCH: Crude oil futures prices settle lower on Iran uncertainty

Crude oil futures prices alternated between gains and losses in July 13 trading before settling lower on both the New York and London markets on uncertainty about the outcome of Iran’s talks with international powers regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

A tentative agreement was announced on July 14 although it has yet to be reviewed by the various participants. If finalized, it could lead to the lifting of sanctions on Iranian crude exports, allowing Iran to sell more crude oil on the already oversupplied global market.

Separately, crude oil production from seven major US shale plays was forecast to decline 91,000 b/d to 5.36 million b/d during August, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s latest Drilling Productivity Report.

EIA last month also projected a 91,000-b/d decline for July (OGJ Online, June 9, 2015).

The August crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange declined 54¢ on July 13 to settle at $52.20/bbl. The September contract fell 51¢ to $52.71/bbl.

The natural gas contract for August was up 9¢ to a rounded $2.86/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price was $2.88/MMbtu, up 13¢.

Heating oil for August fell 2¢ to a rounded $1.72. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for August fell nearly 8¢ to a rounded $1.94/gal.

The August ICE contract for Brent crude declined 88¢ to $57.85/bbl on July 13, while the September contract fell 85¢ to $58.15/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for August rose $2.25 to $536.70/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes for July 13 was $55.28/bbl, down 71¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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