MARKET WATCH: Oil, gas prices decline in disappointed markets

The front-month crude contract dropped 1% Aug. 23 in the New York futures market on fading hopes for economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve System, and natural gas was down 0.7% after the government reported a larger-than-expected injection in US underground storage.

The Energy Information Administration reported the injection of 47 bcf of natural gas into US underground storage in the week ended Aug. 17, up from Wall Street’s consensus for an input of 40 bcf. That brought working gas in storage to 3.308 tcf, up 423 bcf from the comparable period in 2011 and 357 bcf above the 5-year average (OGJ Online, Aug. 23, 2012).

Released minutes of the July 31-Aug. 1 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee were showed several members thought more stimulus might be needed soon. But initial market optimism was dashed when St Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said US economic data had strengthened since the meeting, and immediate action may not be warranted.

However, oil and gas prices were up in early trading Aug. 24 despite the US Department of Commerce reporting orders for US durable goods, excluding the volatile transportation category, were down in July—the fourth decline in 5 months. Total orders for durable goods increased a seasonally adjusted 4.2% last month, but when transportation goods were excluded, the remaining core categories were down 0.4% overall.

The US Department of Labor earlier reported applications for unemployment benefits increased by 4,000 last week to 372,000 new filings, indicating possibly a slower rebound in August than in July. It subsequently said Aug. 24 only 56% of workers laid off January 2009 through December 2011 had found new jobs by the first of this year, most of them at lower pay. A third of those recycled workers took income reductions of 20% or more. The pay data would have been even lower if the survey included those who found only part-time work, officials said.

Energy prices

The October contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes dropped 99¢ to $96.27/bbl Aug. 23 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The November contract fell 95¢ to $96.60/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., was down 99¢ to $96.27/bbl.

Heating oil for September delivery inched up 0.43¢ but closed essentially unchanged at a rounded $3.13/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month increased 1.16¢ to $3.12/gal.

The September natural gas contract lost 2.4¢ to $2.80/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., was down 4.5¢ to $2.77/MMbtu.

In London, the October IPE contract for North Sea Brent gained 10¢ to $115.01/bbl, but subsequent months posted losses. Gas oil for September increased $10.50 to $995.50/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes climbed $1.36 to $113.56/bbl.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

EPA delays proposal to regulate methane emissions until 2015

12/19/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency is delaying plans to issue proposals to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas operations until 2015, O...

BLM starts process to consider new Nevada lease nominations

12/19/2014 The US Bureau of Land Management’s Battle Mountain, Nev., field office is seeking public comment on 197 parcels of public land, totaling 415,921 ac...

California Bay Area advances plan for enhanced refinery regulations

12/19/2014 California’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the public agency responsible for regulating stationary sources of air pollution in...

IEA finds US energy policy improved in latest in-depth review

12/19/2014 US energy policies have come into sharper focus in the last six years, the International Energy Agency said in its latest periodic review. It speci...

Comstock to suspend 2015 oil drilling in Eagle Ford, TMS

12/19/2014 Due to low crude oil prices, Comstock Resources Inc., Frisco, Tex., plans to suspend its 2015 oil-directed drilling activity on properties in the E...

Mexico uses PSCs in first Round One step

12/19/2014 Mexico is offering production-sharing contracts to companies incorporated in the country for exploration of 14 shallow-water areas in Round One bid...

BASF, Gazprom cancel asset swap

12/19/2014

BASF and OAO Gazprom have agreed not to complete an asset swap that was scheduled for yearend.

AWE pulls out of Otway permit

12/19/2014 AWE Ltd., Sydbey, has decided to pull out of Perth-based junior WHL Energy Ltd.’s offshore Otway Basin permit Vic-P67 after a series of time extens...

Jewell names Maryland energy administrator BOEM’s new director

12/18/2014 US Interior Sec. Sally Jewell appointed Abigail Ross Hopper, who currently directs the Maryland Energy Administration, as the new director of the U...

White Papers

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by

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

Available Webcasts



The Future of US Refining

When Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

When Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST



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


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