MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil drops for fourth consecutive session

The price of light, sweet crude oil for July delivery settled at a high for so far in 2016 and was 1¢ above the settlement price for July Brent on the London market May 24. It was the first time since January that the US benchmark has settled above Brent.

The July crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 54¢ on May 24 to settle at $48.62/bbl—the highest settlement since October 2015. The Brent crude contract for July on London’s ICE climbed 26¢ to $48.61/bbl.

Citigroup Inc. on May 24 forecast Brent crude prices will reach $50/bbl in the third quarter, up from its previous forecast that it would be the fourth quarter before Brent reached $50/bbl.

“In Nigeria, Venezuela, Libya and a host of other countries, the threat of disruptions seems to be increasing and not decreasing,” Citigroup analysts said in a research note. “Prices look likely to march forward to the mid-$60[/bbl] range.”

The US Energy Information Administration was scheduled to release its weekly crude and product inventory later May 25. Analysts and traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the report to show crude inventories fell 2.5 million bbl for the week ended May 20.

Separately, the American Petroleum Institute said that its estimate showed crude supplies decreased 5.1 million bbl for the week.

Energy prices

The NYMEX light, sweet crude contract for August delivery was up 49¢ to $49.06/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for June delivery fell 7.5¢ to a rounded $1.98/MMbtu on May 24. The Henry Hub price was $1.91/MMbtu, down 4¢.

Heating oil for June delivery gained 1¢ to $1.49/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for June gained less than a penny to remain at a rounded $1.65/gal.

The Brent crude contract for August on ICE was up 25¢ to $48.18/bbl. The June gas oil contract gained $8.50 to $447.25/tonne.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries basket of crudes price for May 24 was $44.02/bbl, down 5¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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