MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices rally above $41/bbl

Crude oil prices on the New York market rallied more than $1/bbl on Apr. 19, settling above $41/bbl on reports of the Kuwaiti oil-workers strike and pipeline outages elsewhere. The Brent crude oil price for June delivery rose by more than $1 to close above $44/bbl on the London market.

Analysts said the oil-workers strike in Kuwait removed an estimated 1.3 million b/d from the market for 3 days. But oil prices were falling in early trading on Apr. 20 on media reports that the strike had ended.

Other ongoing outages included pipeline problems in Nigeria although media reports indicated that supply was already getting at least partially restored. In addition, the availability of 150,000 b/d of Iraqi crude was in question because of a pipeline dispute between Iraq’s central government and Kurdish regional authorities.

Petromatrix analyst Olivier Jakob issued a research note saying spare capacity during 2015 appears to be no longer available.

“We are back in an environment where the only spare capacity left is in storage tanks and if those barrels started to be used, then the crude oil structure tightens, which in turn provided some flat price support,” Jakob said.

The US Energy Information Administration was scheduled to release its weekly inventory statistics later Apr. 20.

Energy prices

The crude oil contract for May delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed $1.30 on Apr. 19 to $41.08/bbl. The June contract was up $1.28 to $42.47/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for May gained nearly 15¢ to a rounded $2.09/MMbtu. The Henry Hub price was $1.90/MMbtu, up 14¢.

Heating oil for May delivery rose 2.7¢ to a rounded $1.26/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for May climbed 4.4¢ to a rounded $1.48/gal.

The Brent crude contract for June on London’s ICE was up $1.12 to $44.03/bbl. The July contract climbed $1.08 to $43.85/bbl. The gas oil contract for May was $378.50/tonne, up $8.25.

The average price for the OPEC’s basket of 13 benchmark crudes on Apr. 19 was $38.27/bbl, gaining $1.69.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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