MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil price reaches above $46/bbl

Light, sweet crude prices for June delivery gained 70¢ on the New York market, closing Apr. 28 at $46.03/bbl and marking a second consecutive record settlement for 2016. Brent crude oil for June delivery closed above $48/bbl, and the Brent June contract was set to expire with Apr. 29 closing.

Analysts said oil prices gained support as the value of the US dollar fell against other currencies. Oil is traded in dollars so a weaker dollar makes oil less expensive for buyers using other currencies.

Bart Melek, TD Securities head of commodity strategy in Toronto, noted oil prices rallied at about this same time last year only to fall steeply again. He expects that pattern to repeat itself this year.

The Wall Street Journal polled 13 investment banks about oil prices. The survey showed the bankers expect Brent crude oil will average $41/bbl for 2016, up $1 compared with the same WSJ survey done in March.

The survey showed bankers expect the US benchmark will average $39/bbl in 2016, unchanged from the previous survey.

Regarding natural gas in underground storage across the Lower 48, the US Energy Information Administration estimated levels at 2.5 tcf as of Apr. 22, marking a net increase of 73 bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 870 bcf higher than last year at this time, the weekly Gas Storage Report showed.

Energy prices

The June crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed 70¢ to settle at $46.03/bbl, which was the highest front-month price since November 2015. The July contract rose 67¢ to $46.87/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for June dropped 7.5¢ to a rounded $2.08/MMbtu. The Henry Hub price was $1.89/MMbtu, up 1¢.

Heating oil for May delivery rose 2.5¢ to a rounded $1.40/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for May climbed 1.7¢ to a rounded $1.60/gal.

The Brent crude contract for June on London’s ICE was up 96¢ to $48.14/bbl. The July contract rose 84¢ to $47.77/bbl. The gas oil contract for May was $415.25/tonne, up $12.75.

The average price for the OPEC’s basket of 13 benchmark crudes on Apr. 28 was $42.02/bbl, up 64¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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