MARKET WATCH: Crude prices fall, wiping out gains

Sam Fletcher
Senior Writer

HOUSTON, July 30 -- Crude and petroleum product futures prices fell July 29, wiping out all gains from the previous session, after the Department of Transportation reported a 3.7% decline in the total number of miles traveled in the US by motorists during May vs. the same month in 2007 when mileage was down 1.8%.

Total US mileage driven in January-May was down 2.4%, compared with a 2.1% drop during the same period last year. Moreover, said analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc., "The dollar continues to strengthen, as oil (and other commodity) prices keep tumbling; in fact, the dollar hit a 1-month high yesterday." Oil prices were down in premarket trading July 30 in expectation of a build in petroleum inventories. "Natural gas continued to trade downward premarket," Raymond James analysts said. "We reiterate our stance that natural gas prices could continue to fall over the next few months as the year-over-year storage deficit shrinks."

At Pritchard Capital Partners LLC, New Orleans, analysts said, "Crude prices have fallen more than $25/bbl over the past 2 weeks as oil investors worried that high prices for fuel made from crude oil have seriously damaged demand. Average [retail] prices for regular gasoline in the US fell for the 13th straight day…but remained near $4/gal, more than 35% higher than they were a year ago."

US inventories
The Energy Information Administration reported July 30 that commercial US crude inventories slipped 100,000 bbl to 295.2 million bbl during the week ended July 25, far short of the expected 1.2 million bbl drop that was the consensus of Wall Street analysts. Gasoline stocks fell 3.5 million bbl to 213.6 million bbl in the same period vs. an expected increase of 100,000 bbl. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 2.4 million bbl to 130.5 million bbl, exceeding the consensus for a 1.9 million bbl build. Propane and propylene inventories increased by 500,000 bbl to 45.8 million bbl.

Imports of crude into the US increased by 199,000 b/d to 10 million b/d in the same week. Input of crude into US refineries gained 50,000 b/d to 15.2 million b/d with units operating at 87.2% of capacity. Gasoline production fell to 9 million b/d, but distillate fuel production increased to 4.7 million b/d.

Energy prices
The September contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes dropped $2.54 to $122.19/bbl July 29 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The October contract lost $2.55 to $122.74/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., was down $2.55 to $122.19/bbl. Heating oil for August delivery fell 8.98¢ to $3.47/gal on NYMEX. The August contract for reformulated blend stock for oxygenate blending (RBOB) declined 6.23¢ to $3.01/gal.

The August natural gas contract continued to climb, up 5.4¢ to $9.22/MMbtu on NYMEX. Pritchard Capital analysts said, "Despite revisiting sub-$9 prices for the third time over the last four sessions, expiring August natural gas futures tiptoed out the back door instead of making a grand exit." On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., lost 10¢ to $9.16/MMbtu.

In London, the September IPE contract for North Sea Brent crude dropped $3.13 to $122.71/bbl. Gas oil for August fell $23.75 to $1,138.50/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of 13 reference crudes was down $1.46 to $121.73/bbl July 29.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

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...
White Papers

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

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

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

On Demand

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


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

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

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


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