MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent crude prices rally on September informal OPEC talks

Crude oil prices jumped by more than $1/bbl on both New York and London markets Aug. 8 after Qatar’s Energy Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al Sada, president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said the cartel will hold informal talks in September.

Those talks are expected to take place over Sept. 26-28 on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algeria (OGJ Online, Aug. 8, 2016).

“The market seems willing enough to take this as a bullish development and perhaps this time will be different,” Citi analyst Tim Evans told the Wall Street Journal. “But we note that without the support of Saudi Arabia all prior efforts at a production freeze amounted to nothing.”

A similar April initiative was rejected during talks in Qatar between OPEC members and representatives of non-OPEC countries, including Russia.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Aug. 8 he would be willing to discuss a production freeze with OPEC members if oil prices continue to fall.

“We have always taken the position that we are ready for negotiations,” Novak told Interfax and other journalists.

Prices have tumbled since early June when light, sweet crude prices reached above $50/bbl on the New York market and Brent crude prices approached $53/bbl on the London market.

Energy prices

The NYMEX crude oil contract for September rose $1.22 to settle at $43.02/bbl on Aug. 8. The October contract climbed $1.19 to close at $43.76/bbl.

The natural gas contract for September dropped 2¢ to a rounded $2.75/MMbtu. On the spot market, the Henry Hub gas price declined 2¢ to $2.83/MMbtu on Aug. 8.

Heating oil for September rose 2.6¢ to a rounded $1.34/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for September fell 1.4¢ to a rounded $1.36/gal.

The Brent crude contract for October on London’s ICE gained $1.12 on Aug. 8 to $45.39/bbl. The contract for November was up $1.12 to $45.73/bbl. The August gas oil contract settled at $384/tonne, up $11.50.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $41.10/bbl, up $1.02.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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