MARKET WATCH: Oil prices drop in New York, London on OPEC uncertainty

The light, sweet crude oil contract for December delivery fell more than $1/bbl in New York to close below $44/bbl on Nov. 11 while the Brent crude oil contract price for January also fell more than $1/bbl to settle under $45/bbl.

US oil prices extended their losing streak to 3 weeks amid dropping expectations that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will finalize a proposed cut in quotas for some members.

Brent crude oil prices were down for a fourth consecutive week on the London market.

Commerzbank analysts said most market participants are skeptical OPEC will cut production to 32.5-33 million b/d as it proposed in late September. The next OPEC meeting is Nov. 30 in Vienna.

In a research note, Commerzbank analysts said many OPEC members have produced at capacity in anticipation of production cuts. The cartel reported that it produced an estimated 33.64 million b/d in October (OGJ Online, Nov. 14, 2016).

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Nov. 10 that Russia could freeze crude production at November levels. Novak said Russia would prefer a production freeze to production cuts, Russian state news agencies reported.

Barclays analyst Miswin Mahesh of London said it’s too early to associate the oil price drops to US President-elect Donald J. Trump.

“The price of some commodities rose after Trump’s election victory, others fell,” Mahesh said in a Weekly Commodities note. “This is what happens most days in commodity markets, and it is far too early to start attributing recent moves to any sort of Trump effect, potential or otherwise, mainly because there is so little detail in any of his policy proposals.”

Energy prices

The December crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1.25 on Nov. 11 to close at $43.41/bbl. The January contract dropped $1.21 to $44.15/bbl.

The natural gas contract for December declined 1¢ to a rounded $2.62/MMbtu. On the spot market, the Henry Hub gas price dropped 5¢ to $2.03/MMbtu.

Heating oil for December was down 3.5¢ to a rounded $1.40/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for December dropped 3¢ to a rounded $1.30/gal.

The January Brent crude contract on London’s ICE was down $1.09 to settle at $44.75/bbl. The Brent contract for February declined $1.10 to $45.82/bbl. The November gas oil contract dropped $13.25 to $407.75/tonne.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of benchmark crudes on Nov. 11 was $41.54/bbl, down $1.13.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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