MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices down slightly pending Iran talk results

US light, sweet crude oil prices settled down slightly July 10 on the New York market, ending a week in which the front-month contract saw its biggest single-week drop since March, which analysts attributed largely to uncertainties about Greece’s debt and talks regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

International powers and Iran reportedly were closer than ever late July 12 on reaching an accord regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The pending agreement, if finalized, follows extended talks in Vienna in recent weeks after years of earlier negotiations. Agence France-Presse reported an unnamed Iranian diplomat as saying the document was 100 pages.

On July 10, the International Energy Agency said it expects the world oil market will remain oversupplied in 2016.

Meanwhile, Baker Hughes Inc. reported the number of US rigs drilling for oil rose for the second consecutive week (OGJ Online, July 10, 2015).

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was scheduled to issue its monthly report on July 13.

Wood Mackenzie Ltd. has forecast that Brent crude oil will average $60/bbl in July, a moderate decline from June. WoodMac analysts expect oil prices will weaken because of an expected Iran nuclear accord, which will result in the lifting of sanctions and the return of more Iranian oil to world markets.

Barclays Research analysts said they continue to expect that Brent crude oil will average $62/bbl in the third quarter and $66/bbl in the fourth quarter.

Energy prices

The August crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange declined 4¢ on July 10 to $52.74/bbl. The September contract fell 1¢ to $53.22/bbl.

The natural gas contract for August was up 4¢ to a rounded $2.77/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price was $2.75/MMbtu, up 6¢.

Heating oil for August climbed less than a penny to a rounded $1.74. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for August fell nearly 3¢ to a rounded $2.02/gal.

The August ICE contract for Brent crude gained 12¢ to $58.73/bbl on July 10, while the September contract also was up 12¢ to $59/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for July remained unchanged at $536.75/tonne, and the August price was down $3.50 to $534.50/tonne.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of 12 benchmark crudes for July 10 was $55.99/bbl, up 45¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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

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