MARKET WATCH: Oil traders cautiously optimistic about 2017 production cut

The crude oil futures price for February delivery rose closer to $54/bbl on the New York market Dec. 27 while the February delivery price for Brent crude oil climbed above $56/bbl on the London market.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has agreed to cut production by 1.2 million b/d starting Jan. 1, 2017, and some non-OPEC countries have agreed to cut production by 558,000 b/d (OGJ Online, Dec. 13, 2016).

“Right now the focus is going to be on the OPEC cut, which is why [oil] has found some gradual support,” said Amrita Sen, Energy Aspects chief oil analyst.

US oil production has climbed along with stronger oil prices, averaging 8.79 million b/d for the week ended Dec. 16, up from 8.43 million b/d in late July, US Energy Information Administration statistics showed in a Dec. 21 Petroleum Status Report.

EIA plans to release the next inventory report on Dec. 29, a day later than normal because federal offices were closed Dec. 26 for the Christmas holiday.

Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts said they expect a draw of 1.5 million b/d in US crude inventories for the week ended Dec. 23.

Energy prices

The February crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 88¢ on Dec. 27 to close at $53.90/bbl. The March contract rose 87¢ to $54.79/bbl.

The natural gas contract for January was up nearly 10¢ to a rounded $3.76/MMbtu. The Henry Hub spot market for gas closed at $3.67/MMbtu.

Heating oil for January rose 3.6¢ to a rounded $1.70/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for January rose 2.7¢ to a rounded $1.65/gal.

The Brent crude contract for February on London’s ICE was up 93¢ to $56.09/bbl. The March contract also increased 93¢ to $56.83/bbl. Gas oil for January closed Dec. 27 at $501/tonne.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of benchmark crudes for Dec. 27 was unavailable.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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