MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil price holding above $45/bbl

Light, sweet crude prices for June delivery gained by more than $1 to close Apr. 27 at $45.33/bbl—the highest front-month settlement since Nov. 4, 2015. Analysts attributed that in part to a weekly government report showing US oil production has declined for 7 consecutive weeks.

The Energy Information Administration said US production fell 15,000 b/d to 8.94 million b/d for the week ended Apr. 22. EIA’s Petroleum Status Report estimated US oil production at its lowest level since October 2014.

Oil prices also were supported after the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee concluded its Apr. 27 meeting, indicating the Fed remains positive about US economic growth.

Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS Group AG in Zurich, said, “The oil market remains oversupplied, as best visible in US commercial oil inventories. Prices remain vulnerable to the downside in the short run.”

US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased 2 million bbl to an estimated 540.6 million bbl for the week ended Apr. 22 compared with the previous week’s average, EIA said (OGJ Online, Apr. 27, 2016).

Jason Gammel, Jefferies analyst, said he believes demand will outstrip supply in the second half of the year.

Energy prices

The June crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed $1.29 on Apr. 27 to settle at $45.33/bbl. The July contract rose $1.31 to $46.20/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for May dropped 3.7¢ to a rounded $1.99/MMbtu. The Henry Hub price was $1.88/MMbtu, unchanged from the previous day.

Heating oil for May delivery rose 4.7¢ to a rounded $1.38/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for May climbed 1.6¢ to a rounded $1.58/gal.

The Brent crude contract for June on London’s ICE was up $1.44 to $47.18/bbl. The July contract rose $1.35 to $46.93/bbl. The gas oil contract for May was $402.50/tonne, up $15.50.

The average price for the OPEC’s basket of 13 benchmark crudes on Apr. 27 was $41.38/bbl, up $1.50.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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