MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil price settles above $43/bbl

The light, sweet crude oil price for August delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained modestly on June 23 to settle just above $43/bbl, but US oil prices still experienced a fifth consecutive weekly loss after dipping on June 21 to the lowest since Aug. 11, 2016.

Brent crude on the ICE Futures Exchange in London for August delivery gained 32¢ to settle just above $45.50/bbl. Brent dipped to $44.35/bbl on June 21, its lowest since Nov. 14, 2016. Brent also posted its fifth consecutive weekly loss.

Analysts said crude oil prices entered a bear market on June 21 amid concerns that increasing US oil production is counteracting efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers to rebalance crude oil supply and demand.

Baker Hughes Inc. said US drillers added rigs for the 23rd consecutive week during the week ended June 23—the longest such streak on record. Higher drilling activity implies increased future production. The US active rig count gained 8 units to 941 (OGJ Online, June 23, 2017).

In May, OPEC and some non-OPEC producers extended production-cut targets of 1.8 million b/d through Mar. 31, 2018.

The production-cut targets have yet to reduce world oil oversupply levels, however. Libya and Nigeria, both exempted from OPEC’s production-cut targets, are increasing their production.

Energy prices

The August light, sweet crude contract on NYMEX gained 27¢ on June 23 to settle at $43.01/bbl. The September contract was up 30¢ to close at $43.27/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for July gained 3.5¢ to a rounded $2.93/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price was $2.86/MMbtu, up 1¢.

Heating oil futures for July also edged up less than 1¢ to remain at a rounded $1.37/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for July dropped a fraction of a penny to remain at $1.43/gal.

The Brent crude contract for August on London’s ICE increased by 32¢ to $45.54/bbl while the September contract was up 34¢ to $45.75/bbl. The July gas oil contract dropped by $1 to $411.25/tonne.

OPEC’s basket of crudes on June 23 was unavailable.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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