MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices climb pending US general election outcome

Crude oil prices rose on the New York market Nov. 7 pending results of the Nov. 8 US presidential election and on lingering concerns about whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reach any agreement Nov. 30 to cut oil production quotas for its members.

Both commodity prices and the US stock market moved higher after the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had not found evidence to warrant criminal charges against presidential candidate Hillary Clinton regarding e-mails dating back to when she was US Secretary of State.

Oil prices fell in early Nov. 8 trading in New York on weaker China imports and a stronger US dollar. Oil is traded in dollars so a stronger dollar makes oil more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

Olivier Jakob, an analyst of Petromatrix, said oil trading has thinned as sellers wait until the election is over.

“Sellers are in wait-and-see mode until the election is over, and this has managed to give oil prices a lift,” Jakob said.

OPEC issued its annual World Oil Outlook (WOO), which said it sees $60/bbl oil for the OPEC reference basket (ORB) by 2020.

“The average ORB price for 2016 is expected to be around $40/bbl,” the WOO said, adding OPEC expects price recovery will continue with a $65/bbl price in 2021.

“In the long-term, prices are assumed to reach a level of $92/bbl by 2040 in real (2015 dollar) prices,” the WOO said. “It should be stressed that these are neither price forecasts nor a desired price path for OPEC crude, but working assumptions.”

In January, ORB reached its lowest level ($22.48/bbl) since the oil price slump started in the second half of 2014. ORB has since moved upward, hovering in the range of $40-45/bbl for the last 2 months.

Energy prices

The December crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 82¢ on Nov. 7 to close at $44.89/bbl. The January contract also rose 82¢ to $45.47/bbl.

The natural gas contract for December climbed nearly 5¢ to a rounded $2.82/MMbtu. On the spot market, the Henry Hub gas price rose 14¢ to $2.33/MMbtu.

Heating oil for December gained 1¢ to $1.44/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for December dropped less than a penny to a rounded $1.37/gal.

The January Brent crude contract on London’s ICE was up 57¢ to settle at $46.15/bbl. The Brent contract for February gained 65¢ to $47.20/bbl. The November gas oil contract held steady at $417.75/tonne.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of benchmark crudes on Nov. 7 was $41.98/bbl, down 13¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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