MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil price rises modestly despite no production freeze deal

Light, sweet crude prices for June delivery gained half a dollar on the New York market Apr. 22 to close out the week at just below $44/bbl, marking the highest settlement since Nov. 10, 2015. For the week, both US benchmark crude oil in New York and Brent crude oil futures in London each gained about $2.

The gains came during a week when many analysts had expected oil futures prices would fall because of lingering crude oil oversupply and no production freeze agreement by the world’s major oil producers after much anticipation leading up to their Apr. 17 meeting in Qatar.

Douglas Westwood analysts in London issued an Apr. 25 research note saying they expect to see a fall in 2016 US production of nearly 900,000 b/d, which would be the largest drop in output for a country since Libya’s civil war in 2011 and Saudi Arabia production cuts in 2009.

“There will be production growth in a number of countries, the most significant being Iran and Iraq,” Douglas Westwood said. But a reduction in the world’s oil inventories still is expected, putting upward pressure on oil prices over the course of the year.

For 2017, Douglas Westwood expects significant crude oil production growth. “We are not over the hangover from several years of record levels of industry spend (2011-14),” analysts said, adding that in 2018-20, they expect to see a reduction in world crude oil oversupply.

Energy prices

The June crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 55¢/bbl on Apr. 22 to settle at $43.73/bbl. The July contract was up 56¢ to $44.54/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for May gained 7¢ to a rounded $2.14/MMbtu. The Henry Hub price was $1.89/MMbtu, down 5¢.

Heating oil for May delivery rose nearly a penny to a rounded $1.31/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for May climbed by a rounded 1.5¢ to a rounded $1.53/gal.

The Brent crude contract for June on London’s ICE was up 58¢ to $45.11/bbl. The July contract climbed 68¢ to $45.07/bbl. The gas oil contract for May was $395.75/tonne, up $2.40.

The average price for the OPEC’s basket of 13 benchmark crudes on Apr. 22 was $39.78/bbl, down 31¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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