MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil price drops slightly on US oil inventory gain

The light, sweet crude oil contract for December declined modestly on the New York market Nov. 16 after the US Energy Information Administration said commercial crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased 5.3 million bbl during the week ended Nov. 11.

US crude oil futures reached a high of $46.41/bbl for Nov. 16 before settling under $46/bbl. Prices swung from gains to losses during the trading session.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Russia would “support any decision” adopted by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. He spoke to reporters in Moscow. Novak is expected to meet with oil ministers from Saudi Arabia and Qatar yet this week.

OPEC is trying to figure out how to cut its members’ production quotas. The next OPEC meeting is Nov. 30 in Vienna.

“Prices are certainly lower than most OPEC members are looking for, they’re still too low for global supply to grow in the medium term,” said Paul Horsnell, head of commodity research at Standard Chartered. “They’re still too low that the recovery in US output can grow at any significant rate, so there’s still upside if there’s a solid deal announced.”

Meanwhile, US oil futures prices dropped on Nov. 16 after EIA estimated total US crude inventories at 490.3 million bbl (OGJ Online, Nov. 16, 2016). Yet, US oil production dropped for the week.

The Weekly Petroleum Status Report showed total US oil production at 8.68 million b/d for the week ended Nov. 11, down 11,000 b/d from the previous week.

Energy prices

The December crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 24¢ on Nov. 16 to close at $45.57/bbl. The January contract declined 29¢ to $46.10/bbl.

The natural gas contract for December gained 5.5¢ to a rounded $2.72/MMbtu. On the spot market, the Henry Hub gas price rose 4¢ to $2.53/MMbtu.

Heating oil for December was down nearly 1¢ to a rounded $1.43/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for December fell 1.6¢ to a rounded $1.32/gal.

The January Brent crude contract on London’s ICE was down 32¢ to settle at $46.63/bbl. The Brent contract for February decreased 33¢ to $47.62/bbl. The December gas oil contract gained $4.25 to $421.25/tonne.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of benchmark crudes on Nov. 16 was $42.90/bbl, up 6¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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