By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 30 -- Energy prices climbed slightly in New York Mar. 29 upon comments from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' president. The rebound in price came after prices fell Mar. 28 following Easter weekend.
Sheik Ahmed Fahd al Ahmed Al Sabah, OPEC president and oil minister of Kuwait, said that the group is watching oil prices to determine if another production increase is needed.
Traders said they interpreted that as a signal that OPEC does not fear a supply crunch any time soon.
The May contract for benchmark US sweet, light crudes climbed 18¢ to $54.23/bbl Mar. 28 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The June contract rose by 17¢ to $54.95/bbl.
On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., gained 19¢ to $54.25/bbl. Gasoline for April delivery held steady at $1.573/gal on NYMEX. Heating oil for the same month climbed by 0.87¢ to $1.5563/gal.
The April natural gas contract jumped 32.4¢ to $7.32/MMbtu on NYMEX as the April contract expired. "While the chilly weather this month has not been severe, temperatures have averaged about 6% below normal and have helped trim some excess inventory," said analysts at Enerfax Daily.
In London, the May contract for North Sea Brent crude on the International Petroleum Exchange dropped 90¢ to $53.03/bbl.
The average price for OPEC's basket of seven benchmark crudes fell by 22¢ to $49.04/bbl on Mar. 29.