MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil falls back under $30/bbl

Light, sweet crude oil prices dropped Feb. 8 to settle back under $30/bbl, and the downward momentum continued in early Feb. 9 trading after the International Energy Agency issued a report in which it maintained its expectations for sluggish additional crude demand during 2016.

In its monthly market report, IEA said world crude demand growth for this year won’t go above 1.2%.

Keisuke Sadamori, IEA’s director of energy markets and security, said 2015 oil demand was underpinned by demand for products, such as gasoline, and product markets are expected to slow this year. His comment came during an industry meeting in London.

Separately, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi met with Venezuela Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino in Riyahd on Feb. 7. Afterwards, neither announced any plans to change oil production levels. Previously, del Pino had requested an emergency meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Venezula officials had suggested that Saudi Arabia reduce its crude oil output to help balance the world oil market and support oil prices. But no mention was made about an emergency OPEC meeting after the meeting between del Pino and al-Naimi.

Energy prices

The March crude oil contract on NYMEX dropped $1.20 to settle at $29.69/bbl on Feb. 8. The April contract declined $1.08 to $31.64/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for March gained nearly 8¢ to a rounded $2.14/MMbtu. The Henry Hub gas price was up 12¢ to $2.20/MMbtu on Feb. 8.

Heating oil for March delivery fell 1¢ to a rounded $1.05/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for March was down 3.6¢ to a rounded 96¢/gal on Feb. 8.

The April ICE contract for Brent crude fell $1.18 to $32.88/bbl on Feb. 8, and the May contract dropped $1.16 to settle at $33.60/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for February was $304.50/tonne, down $1.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $29/bbl, down 30¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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