MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent crude oil prices fall pending OPEC’s informal meeting

Light, sweet oil prices on the New York market and Brent prices on the London market fell more than $1.70/bbl Sept. 23 pending an International Energy Forum meeting Sept. 26-28 in Algeria at which the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to informally discuss oil markets.

Barclays analyst Miswin Mahesh of London issued a research note saying he expects OPEC will not achieve any agreement to freeze production at current levels. OPEC members are expected to meet on the sidelines of the forum.

“Members are likely to make statements highlighting that they are closely watching market developments and will host a subsequent exceptional meeting if deemed necessary,” Mahesh said. “We believe that any agreement in Algiers, or in the coming weeks, will depend on prices and will have little physical supply effect.”

Mahesh suggested analysts and other market participants pay less attention to Algiers and “more attention to a naturally tightening oil-market balance that precludes the group from having to make any difficult decisions.”

Energy prices

The November crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped $1.84 on Sept. 23 to close at $44.48/bbl. The December contract was down $1.81 to $45.07/bbl.

The natural gas contract for October decreased 3.5¢ to a rounded $2.95/MMbtu. On the spot market, the Henry Hub gas price fell 10¢ to $3.04/MMbtu.   

Heating oil for October declined by nearly 5¢ to a rounded $1.41/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending was down 2¢ to a rounded $1.38/gal.

The November Brent crude contract on London’s ICE dropped $1.76 to settle at $45.89/bbl and the December contract fell $1.73 to settle at $46.48. The October gas oil contract settled at $425.50/tonne, down $2.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of benchmark crudes on Sept. 23 was $42.89, down 38¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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