MARKET WATCH
Storms drive up natural gas futures price

Sam Fletcher
Senior Writer

HOUSTON, Aug. 23 -- Storm activity in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean helped push up US natural gas prices on Aug. 22.

The September natural gas contract jumped by 45.3¢ to $9.56/MMbtu on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Other energy commodities were mixed, with the expiring September crude futures contract gaining on NYMEX.

US natural gas futures prices were "driven higher by a rising cash market on storage buying, short-covering [of open sales contracts on NYMEX], and concerns about rising storm activity, all backing the gains despite milder weather this week that should lower demand," said analysts at Enerfax Daily.

"Reports of storm activity this week in the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico and in the southern Atlantic near Hispaniola served as a reminder that the peak of the hurricane season in September is still ahead," they said.

The National Hurricane Center said the short-lived tropical storm Jose dissipated overnight over Mexico. But forecasters are now watching two other storms, including an area of clouds and showers extending from eastern Cuba and Hispaniola across the southeastern Bahamas and other islands. That could develop into a tropical depression by Aug. 24, they said.

A second area is associated with a large tropical wave over the eastern Atlantic 700 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands that could develop into a tropical depression in the next few days.

Meanwhile, as government officials opened talks with protestors in Ecuador on Aug. 22, oil companies resumed some of the oil production that was curtailed last week by civil unrest (OGJ Online, Aug. 22, 2005). State-owned Petroecuador said it increased production in the provinces of Orellana and Sucumbios by 65% to 90,000 b/d vs. normal production levels of 201,000 b/d. EnCana Corp. of Calgary said its production is up an unspecified amount from the 55,000 b/d it was producing on Aug. 19, but still below its normal production of 78,000 b/d.

The protestors called for a 24-hour truce to negotiate with government agents in Quito, Ecuador. According to news reports from Ecuador, the protestors want EnCana and US-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. to leave the country. They also insist that major international oil companies operating in that country pay 25% of their income tax directly to provincial and local governments for investment in local infrastructure.

In Nigeria, Royal Dutch Shell PLC said it has reactivated two oil flow stations that were shut in by protestors last week. Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa and the fifth largest exporter of crude to the US.

Other energy prices
The expiring September contract for benchmark US sweet, light crudes rebounded to $66.25/bbl during trading on Aug. 22 before settling at $65.45/bbl, up by 10¢ for the day, on NYMEX. However, the October crude contract slipped by 14¢ to $65.65/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate increased by 10¢ to $65.46/bbl. Gasoline for September delivery plunged by 4.23¢ to $1.86/gal on NYMEX. Heating oil for the same month was down by 1.12¢ to $1.81/gal.

In London, the October contract for North Sea Brent crude gained 14¢ to $64.50/bbl on the International Petroleum Exchange. Gas oil for September increased by $9.25 to $592.75/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of 11 benchmark crudes gained 57¢ to $58.10/bbl on Aug. 22.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com

Related Articles

Geomicrobial survey results follow drilling success

11/30/2014 The Oriente basin of Ecuador is one of the most productive of the South American Sub-Andean basins. Cumulative production of oil at the end of 2011...

Leadership named for Oxy California independent spinoff

07/10/2014 Occidental Petroleum Corp. has appointed Todd A. Stevens as president and chief executive officer and William E. Albrecht as executive chairman of ...

OxyChem names Peterson as president

06/10/2014 Occidental Petroleum Corp. has selected Robert Peterson as president of wholly owned subsidiary Occidental Chemical Corp. (OxyChem), effective Aug....

Oil and gas midstream ripe for investment, Deloitte specialists say

05/14/2014 Surging US production has made oil and gas midstream operations attractive investment prospects, three Deloitte specialists said during the final d...

Oxy reports decrease in US, worldwide 1Q production

05/05/2014 Occidental Petroleum Corp. reported that its oil and gas production volumes in the first quarter averaged 745,000 boe/d, down from 763,000 boe/d in...

Oxy to spinoff California business

02/14/2014

Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s board has authorized the separation of its California assets into an independent and separately traded company.

Oxy to sell Hugoton field assets for $1.4 billion

02/13/2014 Occidental Petroleum Corp. has agreed to sell its Hugoton field assets to an undisclosed buyer for $1.4 billion. Oxy said it anticipates the transa...

Innex California, Rango Energy form US joint venture

01/20/2014 Innex California Inc., Dallas, has signed a definitive joint venture, operating, and acquisition agreement with Rango Energy Inc. that covers certa...

Occidental approves streamlining measures

10/18/2013 Occidental Petroleum Corp. directors have approved asset sales and other moves as part of “a strategic review to streamline and focus operations.”

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

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