MARKET WATCH: Oil, gas prices rebound with Mideast conflict

Crude oil and natural gas prices rebound Oct. 4, wiping out most of—and often more than—the losses in the previous session as Turkey considered a stronger military response against Syria following a fatal attack on civilians in the Turkish town of Akcakale near the Syrian border.

“This has raised concern that the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline (which transports oil from Iraq) will be affected as it runs through southern Turkey near the Syrian border. From a more general geopolitical risk perspective, this development has also heightened concerns that more countries in the region get drawn into Syria’s civil war,” said Marc Ground at Standard New York Securities Inc., the Standard Bank Group.

Turkish military forces shelled Syrian targets Oct. 3-4 in response to a mortar shell fired across the border that killed civilians in Turkey. “The spillover of Syria's violence into Turkey is not new, but Turkey's swift retaliation indicates that its rules of engagement have changed dramatically following similar provocations by Syria in the earlier days of the Syrian civil war,” said analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc. (OGJ Online, Oct. 4, 2012).

In New York, the front-month contract for benchmark US crude shot up 4.1% “as positive economic data was compounded by increased Middle East supply risk premium amid the cross-border fighting,” Raymond James analysts reported. “Despite the bearish Energy Information Administration injection report, natural gas futures traded slightly higher (up 0.3%) for the eighth time in 9 days as forecasts again signal for cold weather.”

EIA reported the injection of 77 bcf of natural gas into US underground storage in the week ended Sept. 28, exceeding the Wall Street consensus for 73 bcf. That raised working gas in storage to 3.653 tcf, up 272 bcf from a year ago and 281 bcf above the 5-year average (OGJ Online, Oct. 4, 2012).

Market confidence in the euro was bolstered when European Central Bank Pres. Mario Draghi reiterated commitment to the common currency. “This in turn has lent support to commodities in general via a weaker dollar,” said Ground. However, crude prices were down and natural gas was flat in early trading Oct. 5.

Ground said, “Today the market is looking to US non-farm payrolls. Analysts are expecting a 115,000 increase in [in jobs during] September, compared [with] the 96,000 increase seen in August. We expect that a disappointing number could help lift commodity prices on the basis of what this implies for QE3 [the Federal Reserve’s third round of quantitative easing to stimulate the economy].Crude oil should benefit from such a rising tide, despite the demand implications of a weaker-than-expected US labor market.”

Energy prices

The November contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes regained most of its loss from the previous session, rising $3.57 to $91.71/bbl Oct. 4 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The December contract reclaimed $3.55 to $92.07/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., was up $3.57 to $91.71/bbl.

Heating oil for November delivery jumped 12.2¢ to $3.19/gal on NYMEX, negating its cumulative loss of 9.28¢/gal since Oct. 1 when it became the front-month contract. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month shot up 14.34¢ to $2.94/gal, offsetting its earlier total loss of 12.07¢/gal.

The November natural gas contract took back 1.1¢ to $3.41/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., increased 2.3¢ to $3.23/MMbtu.

In London, the November IPE contract for North Sea Brent jumped $4.41 to $112.58/bbl. Gas oil for October escalated $20.25 to $979/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes continued to slip, however, down 9¢ to $106.99/bbl.

Contact Sam Fletcher at

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. ...

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...

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...

MARKET WATCH: Oil prices decline as US crude inventories post first gain in 9 weeks

07/01/2015 Oil prices on July 1 surrendered much of their gains from the day before after the release of a government report showing the first rise in US crud...

FWS issues Shell letter of authorization on Chukchi Sea lease

07/01/2015 The US Fish & Wildlife Service issued Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. a letter of authorization (LOA) related to the potential disturbance of polar b...
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