MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil price drops $1/bbl on oversupply concerns

Light, sweet crude prices for June delivery dropped $1/bbl on Apr. 25 after Genscape Inc. released a report showing oil inventories in Cushing, Okla., storage tanks recently increased by an estimated 1.5 million bbl.

Cushing inventories had been declining since reaching nearly 67 million bbl in early March. But the Genscape report sent a negative signal to analysts and traders who are looking for indicators that the oversupply of oil is starting to diminish. Genscape provides estimates to clients on US oil storage levels.

But oil prices were rising in early Apr. 26 trading on reports of a weaker US dollar. The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index fell 0.2% on Apr. 25. The WSJ index tracks the dollar against a basket of other currencies. Oil trades in dollars so a weakening dollar makes oil less expensive for holders of other currencies.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve is slated to have an Apr. 27 policy meeting, which is also the same date that the US Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly oil and product inventory numbers.

Various oil companies are scheduled to report earnings this week. BP PLC reported a second consecutive quarterly loss. BP executives blamed the latest quarter’s loss on lower oil prices and also on costs associated with the 2010 deepwater Macondo well blowout and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Energy prices

The June crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1.09 on Apr. 25 to settle at $42.64/bbl. The July contract was down 95¢ to $43.59/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for May dropped 77¢ to a rounded $2.06/MMbtu. The Henry Hub price was $1.97/MMbtu, up 8¢.

Heating oil for May delivery dropped 1.8¢ to a rounded $1.29/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for May declined by a rounded 1.8¢ to a rounded $1.51/gal.

The Brent crude contract for June on London’s ICE was down 63¢ to $44.48/bbl. The July contract declined 75¢ to $44.32/bbl. The gas oil contract for May was $395.75/tonne, up $2.75.

The average price for the OPEC’s basket of 13 benchmark crudes on Apr. 25 was $39.40/bbl, down 38¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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