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

Shell cuts $15 billion in spending for 2015-17

01/30/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has curtailed more than $15 billion in potential spending over the next 3 years, but is not “not overreacting to current low ...

Chevron’s $35 billion capital budget down 13% from last year

01/30/2015 Chevron Corp. will allocate $35 billion in its capital and exploratory investment program for 2015, including $4 billion of planned expenditures by...

Oxy cuts capital budget by a third

01/30/2015 In the midst of falling oil prices, Occidental Petroleum Corp., Houston, expects to reduce its total capital spending for 2015 to $5.8 billion from...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX natural gas prices drop after storage report

01/30/2015 US natural gas closed at its lowest price in more than 2 years on the New York market Jan. 29 following the government’s weekly gas storage report,...

PwC: Low oil prices might drive surge in restructuring in 2015

01/29/2015 Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the oil and gas industry hit 10-year highs in terms of deal value and volume in 2014, according to a report f...

DOE could meet 45-day LNG export decision deadline, Senate panel told

01/29/2015 The US Department of Energy would have no trouble meeting a 45-day deadline to reach a national interest determination for proposed LNG export faci...

API forms Colorado Petroleum Council, picks executive director

01/29/2015 The American Petroleum Institute has opened a Denver office that will focus on oil and gas priorities in Colorado. Tracee Bentley, who previously w...

ASMP report lists routes to shale-stimulated manufacturing rebound

01/29/2015 The US shale oil and gas renaissance has created a manufacturing rebound that could produce even more jobs and stimulate further economy growth wit...

ConocoPhillips revises down $2 billion from budget

01/29/2015 ConocoPhillips has shed an additional $2 billion from its capital expenditures for 2015, decreasing total spending to $11.5 billion from the previo...
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

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


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


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