MARKET WATCH: Oil drops to 12-week low on NYMEX

Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, Feb. 15 -- US light, sweet crudes ended trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at less than $85/bbl in New York on Feb. 14 while North Sea Brent crude prices in London rose, prompting analysts to comment on the disconnect.

“Dislocations and disruptions continue to be at the heart of the oil market,” Amrita Sen of Barclays Capital said in a Feb. 15 research note, noting an April Brent-West Texas Intermediate differential of more than $14.

“Indeed, the distortions in WTI are getting more profound, frequent, and of a greater scale,” Sen said. “The disequilibrium has continued to be blown out of proportion. Unlike in 2009 or 2010, when the seasonal draws in Cushing finally reversed the dislocation, there seems to be no end in sight currently.”

Separately, Raymond James & Associates analysts also said the spread between US light, sweet crudes and other types of crude “has blown out to unprecedented levels.” RJA issued its first Brent crude forecast of average realized prices of $97.50/bbl in 2011 and $104.50/bbl in 2012.

Elsewhere, China reported its trade surplus fell sharply in January.

The Asian giant said the surplus fell to $6.5 billion, less than half the $13.1 billion surplus reported for December 2010. Imports jumped 51% compared with January 2010. Exports rose 37.7% during the 12-month period.

Traders expressed concerns that civil unrest in the Middle East might be spreading. Protests have spread from Egypt to Iran, Bahrain, Algeria, and Libya, The Wall Street Journal reported. Analysts and traders said they are watching for potential disruptions to critical crude supply.

Energy prices
The March contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes dropped 77¢ to $84.81/bbl Feb. 14 on NYMEX. The April contract decreased 40¢ to $88.73/bbl. On the US spot market, WTI at Cushing was down 77¢ to $84.81/bbl.

Heating oil for March delivery rose 5.46¢ to $2.75/gal on NYMEX. Weather forecasts call for the US to experience warmer-than-normal temperatures this week. Barclays Capital analysts said warmer weather will mean reduced heating demand, which will help heating oil supplies rebound after cold snaps across much of the US earlier this month.

“The warm temperature pattern is expected to hold in the Southeast and, to a lesser extent, in the Midwest and East,” through Feb. 28, Barclays Capital analyst James Crandell noted in a Feb. 15 research note.

Reformulated blend stock for oxygenate blending for the same month climbed 5.22¢, closing at a rounded $2.517/gal.

The March natural gas contract gained 1.5¢ to $3.925/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., fell 7.5¢ to $3.895/MMbtu.

In London, the April IPE contract for North Sea Brent crude gained $2.14 to $103.08/bbl–the highest close since September 2008. Gas oil for March dropped $21.25 to $871.50/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of 12 reference crudes was not immediately available because OPEC offices in Vienna were closed Feb. 15.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

Related Articles

Encana books impairment charge, maintains 2015 budget

07/27/2015 Encana Corp., Calgary, reported a $1.3 billion impairment charge for the second quarter, which executives said reflected a decline in oil and natur...

First bidding round showed Mexico reform challenges, House panel told

07/27/2015 An apparently disappointing first round of bids for oil and gas exploration rights revealed problems that require attention if Mexico’s dramatic en...

MARKET WATCH: Oil futures stay below $49/bbl after gain in US rig count

07/27/2015 Light, sweet crude oil futures prices fell modestly July 24 to remain under $49/bbl on the New York market after Baker Hughes Inc. reported the US ...

EPA proposes voluntary methane reduction program for gas industry

07/24/2015 The US Environmental Protection Agency proposed a voluntary methane reduction program for the natural gas industry that would allow companies to ma...

Petrobras workers stage 24-hr strike

07/24/2015 Workers at beleaguered Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) staged a 24-hr strike across Brazil to protest plans by the state-owned company to liquid...

MARKET WATCH: Oil futures hover below $49/bbl

07/24/2015 Light, sweet crude oil futures prices settled under $49/bbl July 23 on the New York market, which means US prices have slid more than 20% since the...

EQT reports high IP from Utica dry gas well

07/24/2015 EQT Corp., Pittsburgh, said a deep, dry gas Utica well averaged 72.9 MMcfd with an average flowing casing pressure of 8,641 psi during a 24-hr deli...

Separate Murkowski bill addresses crude exports, OCS revenue sharing

07/24/2015 US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) introduced legislation that would end the ban on US crude oil expor...

OGUK updates guidelines for well abandonments


Oil & Gas UK has released updated guidelines for abandonment of wells, including cost estimates.

White Papers

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

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
Available Webcasts

Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

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.


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


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