MARKET WATCH
Profit-taking pulls back energy futures prices

Sam Fletcher
Senior Writer

HOUSTON, Dec. 10 -- Energy futures prices declined as profit taking Tuesday rolled back a portion of the large price spikes from the previous session that were triggered by heavy weekend snowfalls in the Northeast US markets.

However, analysts said Wednesday that energy prices would likely rebound in the face of forecasts of another wave of severe winter weather across the US and expectations of reports this week of large declines in US inventories of oil and natural gas.

Oil stocks plunge
Indeed, the US Energy Information Administration said early Wednesday that US oil stocks plunged by 6.4 million bbl to 277.9 million bbl during the week ended Dec. 5. US commercial inventories of crude have fallen by a total 16.1 million bbl during the last 3 weeks and are now 25.2 million bbl below the 5-year average, said EIA officials.

US inventories of distillate fuel increased by 1 million bbl to 132.1 million bbl last week, with diesel fuel accounting for most of that gain. Nevertheless, distillate stocks are still 3.8 million bbl below the 5-year average for this period, EIA said. US gasoline stocks also increased for the second consecutive week, up by 3.4 million bbl to 200.5 million bbl.

Crude inputs into US refineries increased by 213,000 b/d to an average 15.7 million b/d last week. "Almost all of the increase was seen on the East Coast and in the Midwest," EIA reported.

Oil imports into the US increased by 403,000 b/d to an average 9.5 million b/d last week. Virtually all of that gain was along the US Gulf Coast. "It appears that crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia and Nigeria were relatively high last week," EIA said.

Energy prices
The January natural gas contract lost 18¢ to $6.72/Mcf Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange after hitting $6.944/Mcf in overnight trading Monday, the highest level since March for a front-month gas contract "and just shy of the contract high of $6.945[/Mcf], said analysts Wednesday at Enerfax Daily.

"The market was due for a pullback after a 40% surge [in gas prices] over the last week, despite still-bullish technical that clearly point higher," said analysts. However, they said, "Forecasts for a colder weekend after a brief midweek warm-up limited selling."

The decline in natural gas prices had a negative impact on other energy commodities, analysts reported. Heating oil for January delivery lost 1.88¢ to 88.66¢/gal Tuesday on NYMEX. Unleaded gasoline for the same month declined by 0.88¢ to 86.46¢/gal. The January contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudest fell by 34¢ to $31.76/bbl on NYMEX, while the February position retreated by 40¢ to $31.60/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., dropped to $31.78/bbl Tuesday from Monday's corrected closing of $32.13/bbl.

In London, the January contract for North Sea Brent oil lost 35¢ to $29.63/bbl Tuesday on the International Petroleum Exchange. December gas oil was down by $2 to $265/tonne. The January natural gas contract plunged by 16.4¢ to the equivalent of $5.79/Mcf on IPE.

However, the average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of seven benchmark crudes continued to rise above its targeted range Tuesday, up by 26¢ to $29.73/bbl.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com

Related Articles

Quicksilver Canada gets LNG export approval

07/02/2015 Quicksilver Resources Canada Inc. has received approval from the National Energy Board of Canada to export 20 million tonnes/year of LNG from a pos...

FourPoint Energy to acquire Anadarko basin assets from Chesapeake

07/02/2015 FourPoint Energy LLC, a privately owned Denver company, plans to acquire oil and gas assets from Chesapeake Energy Corp. subsidiaries Chesapeake Ex...

Origin lets contract for Otway basin fields

07/02/2015 Origin Energy Ltd., Sydney, has let a $1.3 million (Aus.) contract to Wood Group Kenny for provision of a detailed engineering design for the onsho...

Puma Energy completes purchase of Murco’s UK refinery, terminals

07/02/2015 Singapore-based Puma Energy Group Pte. has completed its purchase of UK midstream and downstream assets from Murco Petroleum Ltd., a subsidiary of ...

BP to settle federal, state Deepwater Horizon claims for $18.7 billion

07/02/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc. has agreed in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon inciden...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices plummet on crude inventory build, Iran deadline extension

07/02/2015 Oil prices plummeted more than $2/bbl July 1 to settle at a 2-month low on the New York market after a weekly government report showed the first ri...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

Shell makes FID on Appomattox deepwater development in Gulf of Mexico

07/01/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has taken a final investment decision (FID) on the Appomattox deepwater development, authorizing construction and installatio...
White Papers

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

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
Available Webcasts


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

When Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors

register:WEBCAST


Driving Growth and Efficiency with Deep Insights into Operational Data

Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Capitalizing on today’s momentum in Oil & Gas requires operational excellence based on a clear view of what your business data is telling you. Which is why nearly half* of oil and gas companies have deployed SAP HANA or have it on their roadmap.

Join SAP and Red Hat to learn more about using data to drive process improvements and identify new opportunities with the SAP HANA platform running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This webinar will also show how your choice of infrastructure impacts the performance of core business applications and your ability to achieve data-driven insights quickly and reliably.

*48% use SAP, http://go.sap.com/solution/industry/oil-gas.html

register:WEBCAST


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

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