MARKET WATCH: Energy prices slip lower in worried markets

Energy prices generally closed marginally lower Dec. 27 after recouping much of their morning losses on reports a special session of the US House of Representatives will be called Dec. 30 in a last-minute attempt to pass a fiscal budget and forestall automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that otherwise will take effect Jan. 1.

Traders nervous over the pending setback to US economic recovery virtually ignored a week-long winter storm that brought freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall through Midwest and Atlantic coastal states and was still dumping snow Dec. 28 in New England. More than 1,200 commercial flights were canceled Dec. 27 due to inclement weather.

Equity stock prices edged lower for the 5th consecutive day in early trading Dec. 28; if the market still in the red at the end of the day, it will be the longest losing streak in 3 months.

US inventories

In its weekly report delayed by the Christmas holiday, the Energy Information Administration said Dec. 28 commercial US crude inventories declined 600,000 bbl to 371.1 million bbl, short of Wall Street’s consensus for a 1.8 million bbl drop in the week ended Dec. 21. Gasoline inventories climbed 3.8 million bbl to 223.1 million bbl in the same period, surpassing analysts’ outlook for a 900,000 bbl increase. Finished gasoline inventories increased while stocks of blending components decreased. Distillate fuel inventories escalated 2.4 million bbl to 119.4 million bbl, counter to market expectations of a 900,000 bbl loss.

The American Petroleum Institute reported a drop of 1.2 million bbl to 370.5 million bbl of crude for the same week, with gasoline up 2.4 million bbl to 215.8 million bbl and distillates gaining 2.9 million bbl to 118.8 million bbl.

EIA said imports of crude into the US dropped 374,000 b/d to 8 million b/d last week. In the 4 weeks through Dec. 21, US oil imports averaged 8.3 million b/d, down 294,000 b/d from the comparable period in 2011. Gasoline imports last week averaged 602,000 b/d, and distillate fuel imports averaged 214,000 b/d.

The input of crude into US refineries was down 266,000 b/d to 15.3 million b/d last week with units operating at 90.3% of capacity, EIA reported. Gasoline production increased to 9.5 million b/d, and distillate fuel production rose to 4.9 million b/d.

EIA also reported the withdrawal of 72 bcf of natural gas from US underground storage last week. That left 3.652 tcf of working gas in storage, which is 81 bcf more than the comparable period a year ago and 413 bcf above the 5-year average.

Energy prices

The February contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes dipped 11¢ to $90.87/bbl Dec. 27 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The March contract declined 12¢ to $91.31/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., followed the front-month futures contract down 11¢ to $90.87/bbl.

Heating oil for January delivery gained 2.1¢ to $3.07/gal, however, on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month inched up 0.55¢ to $2.82/gal.

The January natural gas contract dropped 3.8¢ to $3.35/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., declined 2.2¢ to $3.33/MMbtu.

In London, the February IPE contract for North Sea Brent retreated 27¢ to $110.80/bbl. Gas oil for January lost $3.75 to $927.50/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes climbed $1.11 to $108.03/bbl.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

Oil-price collapse may aggravate producing nations’ other problems

02/05/2015 The recent global crude-oil price plunge could be aggravating underlying problems in Mexico, Colombia, and other Western Hemisphere producing natio...

Goodlatte reintroduces bills to repeal, reform RFS

02/05/2015 Calling it “a true ‘kitchen table’ issue,” US Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) reintroduced a pair of bills to address problems in the federal Renewable ...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil drops, ending 4-day rally

02/05/2015 Crude oil prices dropped on the New York market Feb. 4 to settle below $50/bbl and to end a 4-day rally after a weekly government report showed oil...

Alberta’s premier seeks more North American energy integration

02/05/2015 Better policy integration and cooperation will be needed for Canada, Mexico, and the US to fully realize the North American energy renaissance’s po...

Deloitte studies oil supply growth for 2015-16

02/04/2015 A Deloitte MarketPoint analysis suggested large-field projects, each producing more than 25,000 b/d, could bring on 1.835 million b/d in oil supply...

Oil, gas infrastructure investments essential, House panel told

02/04/2015 Investments in oil and gas transportation and storage should move ahead because they are essential in continuing the US economic recovery and North...

Petrobras CEO, five other senior executives resign

02/04/2015 Maria das Gracas Foster, chief executive officer of Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) since 2012, has resigned along with five other senior execut...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices reach 2015 high

02/04/2015 Crude oil prices surged more than $3/bbl on the New York market Feb. 3, closing at the highest level so far this year, but some analysts believe th...

Chevron unit farms into Mauritania offshore blocks

02/04/2015 Chevron Mauritania Exploration Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron Corp., has agreed to acquire 30% nonoperated working interest in Blocks C...
White Papers

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...

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...
Available Webcasts


Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

When 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



On Demand

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


The Future of US Refining

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


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