MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil price for May rises slightly, stays above $38/bbl

Light, sweet crude oil prices for May delivery rose slightly on Mar. 30 on the New York market to settle above $38/bbl after the weekly inventory report showed another gain in US crude oil supplies.

Crude oil stockpiles rose by an estimated 2.3 million bbl to 534.8 million bbl for the week ended Mar. 25, the US Energy Information Administration said (OGJ Online, Mar. 30, 2016).

High petroleum inventories are likely to keep the New York futures oil price above $35/bbl during the second quarter, Barclays said.

“In addition to inventory levels and demand concerns, the market perceives that the US well backlog will pose additional headwinds,” Barclays said in a research note. “We disagree that these wells will add substantial volumes of oil, due mainly to worsening producer financial situations, cost inflation, and labor constraints.”

Natural gas futures rose on Mar. 30 but turned lower Mar. 31 after EIA estimated gas in underground storage across the Lower 48 fell by 25 bcf for the week ended Mar. 25. Some analysts suggested the withdrawal was likely to be the last one of the season.

Total gas in storage was estimated at 2.468 tcf, up 1.002 tcf from a year ago and 843 bcf above the 5-year average, the Gas Storage Report said.

Energy prices

The May crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 4¢ to $38.32/bbl on Mar. 30. The June contract was up 15¢ to $39.66/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for May rose 1.5¢ to a rounded $1.99/MMbtu. The Henry Hub gas price was $1.84/MMbtu, up 7¢.

Heating oil for April delivery edged up less than a penny to $1.16. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for April fell 1.7¢ to a rounded $1.44/gal on Mar. 30.

The Brent crude contract for May on London’s ICE rose 12¢ to $39.26/bbl. The June contract was up 20¢ to $40.05/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for April was $351.25/tonne on Mar. 30, up $9.75.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $34.91/bbl on Mar. 30, up 41¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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