MARKET WATCH: Oil prices rebound, gas prices fell prior to Easter weekend

Crude oil recouped some of its earlier loss Apr. 5 ahead of Good Friday and the Easter weekend, but natural gas prices continued to fall in the New York market.

Commodity and equity prices were down in early trading Apr. 9 after the government reported Apr. 6 the addition of only 120,000 US jobs during March. It was the first time since November that the number of new jobs fell below 200,000 and broke what the Associated Press described as “the strongest stretch of job growth since the Great Recession.” Markets were closed Apr. 6 in observance of Good Friday.

The lower-than-expected number of new jobs “prompted investors to rush to the safety of the bond market, which was open for part of the day” on Apr. 6, said analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc. “The weak jobs report has many believing that QE3 [a third round of “quantitative easing” by the Federal Reserve System to stimulate the US economy] could be coming down the pipe ahead of what is traditionally the worst performing 6-month stretch for the stock market (May through October). Overseas, a disappointing treasury auction out of Spain last week pushed yields even higher, signaling that Euro-zone concerns are still alive and well,” they said.

While growing US oil supply is clearly driving the US toward energy independence, falling US oil demand is providing a tailwind,” Raymond James analysts reported. “As economies become more developed, oil intensity peaks and begins to decline. In China, where oil intensity has begun to fall in recent years, absolute gross domestic product growth rates remain high enough for oil demand to still move up. In the US and other industrialized countries, however, it is now very difficult to achieve the level of GDP growth that's needed for oil demand to increase.”

Raymond James listed four key factors why US oil demand is down roughly 5% so far this year: rising fuel economy, changing driving habits, more natural gas-powered vehicles, and a shift to more natural gas in petrochemicals. “All of these are secular themes; in other words, they are likely to persist for the next several years,” the analysts said. “The US continues to use more oil per capita than any other major economy, but the historical trend would suggest that oil intensity among various countries tends to converge over time.”

Energy prices

The May contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes recouped $1.84 to $103.31/bbl Apr. 5 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The June contract increased $1.80 to $103.83/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., was up $1.84 to $103.31/bbl.

Heating oil for May delivery rebound by 0.83¢ to $3.17/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month regained 0.69¢ to $3.34/gal.

The May natural gas contract continued to drop, however, down 5.2¢ to $2.09/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., fell 7.9¢ to $1.98/MMbtu, wiping out its gain from the previous session.

In London, the May IPE contract for North Sea Brent recovered $1.09 to $123.43/bbl. Gas oil for April continued to fall, down $5.75 to $1,007/tonne.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ office in Vienna was closed Apr. 6 and Apr. 9, so no price updates for its basket of 12 benchmark crudes were available.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

Partners submit Johan Sverdrup development plan

02/13/2015 Partners Statoil ASA, Lundin Petroleum AB, Petoro, Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA, and Maersk Oil have submitted a plan for development and operation (...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil price jumps more than $2/bbl

02/13/2015 Crude oil prices on the New York market jumped by more than $2/bbl Feb. 12 to settle above $51/bbl, which analysts attributed to more oil and gas c...

Apache’s 2015 capital budget less than half of last year’s $8.5 billion

02/12/2015 Apache Corp., Houston, plans a capital budget of $3.6-4 billion in 2015, with $2.1-2.3 billion directed toward onshore North America and $1.5-1.7 b...

Alaska LNG project partners file resource reports with FERC

02/12/2015 A series of draft environmental and socioeconomic reports for the Alaska LNG project have been submitted to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commis...

Total reduces budget by 10% to $23-24 billion

02/12/2015 Total SA plans to lower its organic investments to $23-24 billion in 2015 from $26.4 billion in 2014 by reducing spending in brownfield development...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude prices drop back below $50/bbl

02/12/2015 The New York Mercantile Exchange March crude oil contract dropped $1.18 on Feb. 11, closing at $48.84/bbl. The April contract dropped $1.15 to $50....

US House vote sends Keystone XL approval bill to Obama’s desk

02/12/2015 The US House of Representatives voted by 270 to 152 to pass S. 1, which would deem the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline approved more than 6...

Groups object to White River National Forest draft leasing decision

02/12/2015 The Western Energy Alliance, West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association, and Public Lands Advocacy jointly filed a formal objection to the US Fo...

Five fatalities, four missing now confirmed following FPSO explosion offshore Brazil

02/12/2015 BW Offshore now reports five fatalities—all employees of BW Offshore—and four crew members missing following the Feb. 11 explosion of the Cidade de...
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


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

When 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



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


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