MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude hovers above $50/bbl as US fuel supplies fall

US light, sweet crude oil prices gained in Oct. 13 trading after a weekly government inventory report showed declining gasoline and diesel fuel supplies, which offset an unexpectedly large build in crude oil inventories.

The Energy Information Administration said US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, rose an estimated 4.9 million bbl for the week ended Oct. 7 compared with the previous week’s total (OGJ Online, Oct. 13, 2016).

US crude supplies rose for the first time in 6 weeks while production declined. US crude oil production was estimated at 8.45 million b/d for the week ended Oct. 7, down 17,000 b/d from the estimate for the week ended Sept. 30.

The Petroleum Status Report estimated Lower 48 crude oil production at 7.969 million b/d for the week ended Oct. 7, down 36,000 b/d from the previous week. The latest crude production decline was offset by Alaska where production increased 19,000 b/d to 481,000 b/d.

Refinery utilization dropped to 85.5% for the week ended Oct. 7 compared with 88.3% for the week ended Sept. 30. Lower refinery utilization contributed to increased crude oil inventories, but the gasoline inventory dropped 1.9 million bbl and the distillate inventory fell 3.7 million bbl.

Regarding natural gas in underground storage across the Lower 48, EIA estimated levels at 3.759 tcf as of Oct. 7, marking a net increase of 79 bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 56 bcf higher than last year at this time, the Gas Storage Report said.

Energy prices

The November crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange increased 26¢ on Oct. 13 to close at $50.44/bbl. The December contract was up 21¢ to $50.85/bbl.

The natural gas contract for November jumped 13¢ to a rounded $3.34/MMbtu. On the spot market, the Henry Hub gas price dropped 1¢ to $3.16/MMbtu.

Heating oil for November rose 1¢ to a rounded $1.58/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for November increased 2¢ to a rounded $1.48/gal.

The December Brent crude contract on London’s ICE rose 22¢ to settle at $52.03/bbl, and the January contract increased 23¢ to settle at $52.70/bbl. The November gas oil contract settled at $465.75/tonne, up $2.25.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of benchmark crudes on Oct.13 was $48.07/bbl, down 61¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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