MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent crude prices rally on OPEC supply-cut efforts

The light, sweet crude oil contract for December jumped nearly $2.50/bbl on the New York market Nov. 15 while Brent oil prices also rose about $2.50/bbl. Analysts attributed the rally to producers’ efforts to achieve a deal within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

OPEC members have proposed cutting production to 32.5-33 million b/d. The International Energy Agency estimated OPEC produced an average 33.83 million b/d in October.

Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's energy minister, was expected to meet with counterparts Alexander Novak of Russia and Mohammed Saleh Al Sada of Qatar on the sidelines of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum on Nov. 17 in Doha, the Wall Street Journal reported. Russia is not an OPEC member.

Separately, OPEC Sec. Gen. Mohammad Barkindo was said to be planning trips to Venezuela, Ecuador, and Iran in the coming days to discuss a production cut, the WSJ reported.

The flurry of diplomatic activity comes before OPEC’s Nov. 30 meeting scheduled for Vienna.

“The level of involvement from Saudi Arabia is getting intense and it increases the odds of having an agreement by the end of the month,” said Olivier Jakob, Petromatrix analyst.

Energy prices

The December crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained $2.49 on Nov. 15 to close at $45.81/bbl. The January contract rose by $2.45 to $46.39/bbl.

The natural gas contract for December dropped 4¢ to a rounded $2.71/MMbtu. On the spot market, the Henry Hub gas price rose 27¢ to $2.49/MMbtu.

Heating oil for December was up nearly 6¢ to a rounded $1.44/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for December rose 5.7¢ to a rounded $1.33/gal.

The January Brent crude contract on London’s ICE was up $2.52 to settle at $46.95/bbl. The Brent contract for February increased $2.47 to $47.95/bbl. The December gas oil contract rose $15.25 to $401.75/tonne.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of benchmark crudes on Nov. 15 was up 90¢ to $41.84/bbl.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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