MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent crude oil prices climb on Nigerian disruptions

Light, sweet crude oil prices jumped more than $1/bbl on June 6 on the New York market to settle at nearly $49.60/bbl, the highest front-month contract since July 21, 2015, while the August contract for Brent crude oil settled at $50.55/bbl, marking Brent’s highest front-month contract since Oct. 9, 2015.

Analysts said that recent attacks on two Nigerian pipelines renewed concerns about dwindling Nigerian oil supply. Militants calling themselves the Niger Delta Avengers already reduced the country’s oil supply before the latest disruptions.

Simmons & Co. International analysts said it appears Nigeria’s Forcados export terminal will remain closed in June. Citing comments from government officials, analysts said Nigerian production is about 1 million b/d, down from 1.8 million b/d earlier this year.

Reduced Nigerian oil supply could contribute to lower world oil inventories during this year’s second half, Simmons & Co. said.

US natural gas futures for July rose by nearly 7¢, closing at a rounded $2.47/MMbtu on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the highest front-month contract for gas since Jan. 8. The contract for July delivery has traded above $2/MMbtu since early March.

Analysts attributed the jump in gas prices to forecasts calling for warming weather, meaning more demand for gas-fired air conditioning. The cash gas price also rose with the Henry Hub at $2.32/MMbtu, up 1¢.

Energy prices

The July crude oil contract on NYMEX rose $1.07 on June 6, settling at $49.69/bbl. The August contract also climbed $1.06 to $50.17/bbl.

Heating oil for July delivery gained 1.5¢ to a rounded $1.50/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for July decreased 1.8¢ to a rounded $1.59/gal.

The August Brent crude contract on London’s ICE climbed 91¢ to $50.55/bbl. The September contract was up 93¢ to $50.97/bbl. The June gas oil contract rose $2 to $445/tonne.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of crudes price for June 6 was $46/bbl, up 27¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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