MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude settles above $44/bbl for first time since tropical storm

Light, sweet crude oil prices settled above $44/bbl on the New York market June 27, marking the US benchmark’s highest settlement since June 19.

Some analysts expect both US oil inventory and production will decline following Tropical System Cindy, which forced about 17% of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and less than 1% of natural gas production to be temporarily shut in last week (OGJ Online, June 22, 2017).

The American Petroleum Institute said June 27 that its preliminary estimate showed US crude inventories increased 800,000 bbl for the week ended June 23.

The US Energy Information Administration was scheduled June 28 to release its weekly oil and product inventory. A survey of 10 analysts and traders showed they expected EIA would report a decline of 2.4 million bbl, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers in May extended production-cut targets of 1.8 million b/d through Mar. 31, 2018. Market participants have said the production-cut targets have yet to reduce global oil oversupply levels.

“The market is somehow getting the fact that the rebalancing is not occurring,” said Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix. “It’s difficult to have a strong rebound when you continue to have builds in the US.”

In other news, oil prices rose in overnight electronic trading upon news reports of global ransomware attacks against corporate computers running Microsoft Windows at Russian oil firm Rosneft and other companies. But oil prices fell again in early June 28 trading.

Energy prices

The August light, sweet crude contract on NYMEX gained 86¢ on June 27 to settle at $44.24/bbl. The September contract was up 88¢ to close at $44.49/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for July gained 1¢ to a rounded $3.04/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price held unchanged at $2.98/MMbtu.

Heating oil futures for July climbed 3¢ to a rounded $1.41/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for July gained 2¢ to $1.46/gal.

The Brent crude contract for August on London’s ICE increased 82¢ to $46.65/bbl while the September contract was up 88¢ to $46.92/bbl. The July gas oil contract climbed by $13.75 to $423.25/tonne.

OPEC’s basket of crudes on June 27 was $44.23/bbl, up $1.09.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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