MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent crude oil prices drop more than $2/bbl

Crude oil prices tumbled by more than $2/bbl on the New York and London markets July 7 after the US oil and product report showed a smaller decline than some analysts and others had expected.

The Energy Information Administration reported US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, dropped 2.2 million bbl to an estimated 524.4 million bbl for the week ended July 1 compared with the previous week (OGJ Online, July 6, 2016).

Market participants took little note that US oil production was down by 194,000 b/d to a rounded 8.43 million b/d for the week ended July 1 compared with the previous week. Last year, EIA’s Petroleum Status Report showed production of 9.6 million b/d for the week ended July 3, 2015.

Regarding natural gas in underground storage across the Lower 48, EIA estimated levels at a rounded 3,180 tcf as of July 1, a net increase of 39 bcf from the previous week.

Stocks were 538 bcf higher than last year at this time and 599 bcf above the 5-year average of 2,580 tcf, the Gas Storage Report said.

More Nigerian crude oil supplies are returning to world markets. Royal Dutch Shell PLC said a crude export terminal in the Niger Delta was operating again. The terminal has the capacity to export 200,000 b/d, but Shell declined to have how much Bonny Light crude oil might be exported.

The terminal had been out for service for nearly 2 months, contributing to oil-price support worldwide.

The terminal receives oil from the Shell-operated Trans-Niger pipeline, which had had a leak believed associated with oil thieves.

Energy prices

The crude oil contract for August on the New York Mercantile Exchange dipped $2.29 on July 7 to settle at $45.14/bbl. The September contract drpped $2.30 to $45.84/bbl.

The natural gas contract for August was down less than a penny to a rounded $2.78/MMbtu. The Henry Hub gas price was $2.85/MMbtu, down 10¢ on July 7.

Heating oil for August delivery declined 6¢ to a rounded $1.41/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for August was down 7¢ to a rounded $1.36/gal.

The September Brent crude contract on London’s ICE dropped $2.40 on July 7 to $46.40/bbl. The contract for October declined $2.40 to $47/bbl. The July gas oil contract for July 7 was $418/tonne, up 75¢.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $44.18/bbl on July 7, down 17¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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