Market watch: Friday's barge explosion raises energy futures prices

Sam Fletcher
Senior Writer

HOUSTON, Feb. 24 -- An explosion Friday aboard a barge carrying 100,000 bbl of unleaded gasoline in New York Harbor also lifted energy futures prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The gasoline was being unloaded at the ExxonMobil Corp.'s Port Mobil terminal in Staten Island, NY, when the explosion occurred, killing two Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. employees and injuring one ExxonMobil employee. (OGJ Online, Feb. 24, 2003).

The April contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes finished at $35.58/bbl, up 84¢ for the day, after trading as high as $35.95/bbl on NYMEX. The May position increased by 87¢ to $34.33/bbl. Heating oil for March delivery jumped 4.98¢ to $1.11/gal. Unleaded gasoline for the same month advanced 4.7¢ to $1.01/gal.

The March natural gas contract shot up 44.4¢ to $6.61/Mcf as winter storms continued to whip much of the country.

"The market opened up and almost immediately spiked to a daily high of $6.70(/Mcf) as news of the gasoline barge explosion fueled some panic buying, before settling back somewhat to trade mainly between $6.50-6.60(/Mcf) for the rest of the day," said analysts Monday at Enerfax Daily.

"There are about 5 more weeks of winter left, and storage is getting pretty low, causing some storage holders to turn to the cash market to meet incremental heating demand in an effort to conserve petering inventories," said analysts. "Despite mild Northeast and Midwest weather last week, forecasts for another blast of arctic weather early this week helped drive both the cash and futures markets to new highs, particularly with longer-term forecasts calling for a chilly March and growing concerns about storage inventories."

Meteorologists at Salomon Smith Barney Inc., NY, forecast temperatures in the Central and Eastern US will remain well below normal through this week, with 6-12 in. of snowfall expected in major metro centers from Washington, DC, to Boston.

Salomon Smith Barney analyst Robert S. Morris estimated Monday that the US Energy Information Agency later this week will report a withdrawal of 147-157 bcf of natural gas from US underground storage during the week ending Feb. 21, compared with a draw of 203 bcf the previous week.

In London, the April contract for North Sea Brent oil was up 71¢ to $32.27/bbl on the International Petroleum Exchange.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of seven benchmark crudes gained 36¢ to $31.84/bbl Friday. For the whole week, however, the price averaged $31.90/bbl, up 43¢ from the previous week.

So far this year, OPEC's basket price has averaged $30.73/bbl, including an average price of $30.34/bbl for the month of January. That compares with an average price of $24.36/bbl for all of 2002.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com

Related Articles

Alaska LNG project partners file resource reports with FERC

02/12/2015 A series of draft environmental and socioeconomic reports for the Alaska LNG project have been submitted to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commis...

Second ExxonMobil crude tanker nears service

01/12/2015 The second of two new US-flagged crude oil tankers belonging to SeaRiver Maritime Inc., the marine affiliate of ExxonMobil Corp., has been built an...

ExxonMobil forecasts 35% higher world energy demand by 2040

12/15/2014 A significantly bigger global middle class, expanded emerging economies, and 2 billion more people will contribute to 35% higher world energy deman...

ExxonMobil forecasts 35% higher world energy demand by 2040

12/10/2014 A significantly bigger global middle class, expanded emerging economies, and 2 billion more people will contribute to 35% higher world energy deman...

Firms' third-quarter earnings climbed amid lower crude oil prices

12/08/2014 A sample of 58 oil and gas producers and refiners based in the US recorded a combined 38% jump in profits for this year's third quarter compared wi...

Chapman to succeed Pryor as ExxonMobil Chemical president

11/24/2014 Neil A. Chapman is expected to assume the roles of president of ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and vice-president of ExxonMobil Corp. following the retire...

Induced seismicity research effort identifies information gaps

11/10/2014 A federally coordinated effort to determine whether oil and gas activities are related to growing reports of induced seismic activity has identifie...

ExxonMobil, Linn to make second asset exchange this year

10/06/2014 ExxonMobil Corp. has agreed to trade interest in 500 net acres from South Belridge field near Bakersfield, Calif., to Linn Energy LLC, Houston, in ...

ExxonMobil 'winds down' Arctic well, obeys sanctions

09/29/2014 ExxonMobil Corp. released a statement that it is complying with all US sanctions on Russia after news reports that the operator had halted operatio...
White Papers

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

When Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

When Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST


Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected