MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude ends volatile week with a slight gain

The light, sweet crude oil price for September rallied somewhat on the New York market July 29 to end a very volatile week at $41.60/bbl compared with early June when the front-month contract traded around $50/bbl.

The July 29 gain snapped a six-session losing streak for the US benchmark. Analysts attributed the week’s earlier price drops to high worldwide gasoline inventories and early signs of growing US oil production levels.

Previously, the International Energy Agency had reported a surge in production from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran this year.

IEA said in a Monthly Market Report that production from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries rose 400,000 b/d in June to an 8-year high of 33.21 million bbl.

Saudi Arabia ramped up production to a near-record rate of 10.45 million b/d and Nigerian flows partially recovered, IEA said, adding that Middle East producers sustained record pumping rates, consolidating market share.

OPEC’s total output for June was 510,000 b/d above the same period 1 year ago, IEA said in a July 13 report.

Baker Hughes Inc. said the US drilling rig count barely held on to its upward momentum during the week ended July 29. The overall count edged up 1 unit to 443 rigs working (OGJ Online, July 29, 2016).

Energy prices

The NYMEX crude oil contract for September gained 46¢ to settle at $41.60/bbl on July 29. The October contract added 47¢ to close at $42.33/bbl.

The natural gas contract for September edged up less than a penny to a rounded $2.87/MMbtu. On the spot-market, the Henry Hub gas price gained 18¢ to $2.94/MMbtu on July 29.

Heating oil for August delivery gained less than 1¢ to a rounded $1.27/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for August gained a rounded 1.5¢ to a rounded $1.32/gal.

The September Brent crude contract on London’s ICE dropped 24¢ on July 29 to $42.46/bbl. The contract for October split direction from September. The October contract gained 30¢ to $43.53/bbl. The August gas oil contract settled at $371.25/tonne, down $2.50.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $38.97/bbl, down 82¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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