MARKET WATCH: Brent crude oil price for November settles above $50/bbl

The Brent crude oil price for November delivery settled above $50/bbl on the London market Aug. 17 after a weekly US government inventory showed crude oil and gasoline supplies fell more than expected.

The US Energy Information Administration said commercial crude oil supplies, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, fell 2.5 million bbl for the week ended Aug. 12 while total gasoline supplies declined 2.7 million bbl (OGJ Online, Aug. 17, 2016).

The Petroleum Status Report showed an estimated US crude oil total of 521.1 million bbl, which remains historically high for this time of year. EIA noted US refinery inputs averaged 16.9 million b/d for the week ended Aug. 12, up 268,000 b/d from the previous week’s average.

Analysts said a weakening US dollar also might have contributed to the oil price support. The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which measures the dollar against certain other currencies, showed the dollar’s value was down at 85.41.

US oil production was 8.597 million b/d for the week ended Aug. 12, up 152,000 b/d from the previous week, EIA said. The Lower 48 accounted for 100,000 b/d of the total production gain with Alaska accounting for the rest.

Separately, EIA estimated natural gas in underground storage across the Lower 48 at a rounded 3.34 tcf as of Aug. 12, a net increase of 22 bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 327 bcf higher than last year at this time and 405 bcf above the 5-year average of a rounded 2.93 tcf, the Gas Storage Report said.

Energy prices

The NYMEX crude oil contract for September gained 21¢ to close at $46.79/bbl on Aug. 17. Before the trading session ended, the September contract reached a high for the day of $46.95/bbl. The October contract climbed 30¢ to close at $47.52/bbl.

The natural gas contract for September edged up by less than a penny to remain at a rounded $2.62/MMbtu. On the spot market, the Henry Hub gas price remained unchanged at $2.71/MMbtu.

Heating oil for September gained nearly 3¢ to a rounded $1.49/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for September rose 2.8¢ to a rounded $1.45/gal.

The Brent crude contract for October on London’s ICE rose 62¢ to settle at $49.85/bbl. The contract for November was up 60¢ to $50.08/bbl. The September gas oil contract settled at $430/tonne on Aug. 17, up $1.25.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $45.34/bbl on Aug. 17, up 31¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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