MARKET WATCH: Oil prices rise modestly on New York, London markets

Light, sweet crude prices for August delivery gained modestly in light trading on the New York market July 1 before trading was closed July 4 for Independence Day holiday weekend in the US. Prices fell to under $48/bbl in early July 5 trading.

US Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz said he believed world oil supply and demand likely will regain balance by 2017.

Speaking to reporters July 1 following a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih at the G20 energy meeting in Beijing, Moniz said he and the minister agree that oil supply still exceeds demand despite falling US production.

“Unless there are big surprises, we are still in a situation of more production than demand. The gap is narrowing as global demand grows slowly,” Moniz said. The Energy Information Administration reported US oil production was down 55,000 b/d for the week ended June 24 to 8.622 million b/d.

Meanwhile, the US drilling rig count rose for the week ended July 1. The rig count jumped by 10 units, tallying 431 rigs working, said Baker Hughes Inc. The US oil-directed rig count was up 11 to total 341, a 25-unit increase since May 27. Compared with its Oct. 10, 2014, peak, the total was down 1,268 units (OGJ Online, July 1, 2016).

Meanwhile, the militant group Niger Delta Avengers claimed responsibility for recent attacks on oil pipelines in Nigeria. Before then, the group had not claimed credit for any attacks since June 16.

Nigeria Petroleum Ministry sources said in late June that the government and militants agreed to a month-long truce, Reuters reported. But the Avengers said they did not “remember” agreeing to a truce, Reuters reported.

Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) said in late June that output was rising because of repairs and a fall-off in attacks. The Avengers claimed credit for attacks to three NNPC oil pipelines and two Chevron Corp. wells.

Garba Deen Muhammad, a NNPC spokesman, said, “Government will not be deterred in its efforts to find a lasting solution to these attacks.”

Energy prices

The crude oil contract for August on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 66¢ on July 1 to settle at $48.99/bbl. The September contract rose 64¢ to $49.65/bbl. Trading was closed July 4 for the Independence Day holiday.

The natural gas contract for August gained 6¢ to close at a rounded $2.99/MMbtu. The Henry Hub gas price was $2.77/MMbtu, down 6¢.

Heating oil for August delivery rose 2¢ to a rounded $1.51/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for July was up 1¢ to a rounded $1.51/gal.

The September Brent crude contract on London’s ICE gained 64¢ on July 1 to $50.35/bbl. The contract for October gained 73¢ to $50.89/bbl. The July gas oil contract fell $8, settling at $434.50/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes on July 1 was $45.42/bbl, down 85¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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