MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent crude oil prices fell on OPEC doubts

Crude oil prices continued falling on the New York and London markets Oct. 31 while doubts continued to grow that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will actually reach any agreement to cut production at its Nov. 30 meeting.

Morgan Stanley has said OPEC appears to be at an impasse toward any agreement on either a cut in production quotas or an agreement to freeze production at existing levels (OGJ Online, Oct. 31, 2016).

Meanwhile, analysts await weekly US oil and product inventory report from the Energy Information Administration. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts estimated US crude stocks rose 1.9 million bbl for the week ended Oct. 28. The inventory report will be released Nov. 2.

Oil prices along with gasoline prices climbed in early Nov. 1 trading upon reports that an explosion to Colonial Pipeline in rural Alabama killed one person and injured five others. Colonial Pipeline Co. reportedly shut down the main pipeline in that area. The blast happened after a track hoe struck the pipeline.

A rupture and leak on that same pipeline during early September caused gasoline shortages to some Southern states. There was no immediate indication whether the Oct. 31 explosion near Helena southwest of Birmingham might lead to gasoline shortages.

Energy prices

The December crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1.84 on Oct. 31 to close at $46.86/bbl. The January contract was down $1.87 to $47.46/bbl.

The natural gas contract for December fell nearly 8¢ to a rounded $3.03/MMbtu. On the spot market, the Henry Hub gas price gained 15¢ to $2.80/MMbtu.  

Heating oil for November declined nearly 5¢ to a rounded $1.49/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for November dropped 2¢ to a rounded $1.45/gal.

The December Brent crude contract on London’s ICE tumbled $1.41 to settle at $48.30/bbl. The Brent contract for January was down $2.07 to $48.61. The November gas oil contract settled at $440.25/tonne, down $21.25.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of benchmark crudes on Oct.31 was $45.83, up $1.21.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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