MARKET WATCH: NYMEX natural gas price falls on high inventory

Light, sweet crude prices touched above $46/bbl on the New York market May 5 before settling at about $44.30/bbl upon lingering world oil oversupply concerns despite fires in Canada that threaten oil sands producers.

Michael Tran with RBC Capital Markets noted that the quickly escalating fires were “very front and center” in the focus of traders and analysts.

Natural gas prices fell May 5 after the US Energy Information Administration estimated a weekly increase for natural gas kept in underground storage across the Lower 48.

Gas storage levels grew by 68 bcf for the week ended Apr. 29 compared with the previous week, adding to already high end-of-winter levels, the Gas Storage Report said.

Working gas in storage was 2.6 tcf as of Apr. 29, which EIA said was 861 bcf higher than last year at this time and 836 bcf above the 5-year average of nearly 1.8 tcf.

Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy-advisory firm Ritterbusch & Associates, warned clients that US natural gas prices could fall another 20¢/MMbtu because of the large storage level.

Energy prices

The June crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed 54¢ to settle at $44.32/bbl, and the July contract gained 49¢ to $44.91/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas contract for June dropped 6.5¢ to $2.07/MMbtu. The Henry Hub price was $2.04/MMbtu, down 5¢.

Heating oil for June delivery edged up less than a penny to remain at a rounded $1.33/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for June gained 0.5¢ to remain at a rounded $1.49/gal.

The Brent crude contract for July on London’s ICE was up 39¢ to $45.01/bbl. The August contract gained 39¢ to $45.45/bbl. The May gas oil contract was $398.75/tonne, up $4.50.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries basket of crudes was $41.15/bbl, up 71¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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