MARKET WATCH: Oil prices continue climbing; gas price falls

Oil prices continued climbing Dec. 19 with crude up 1.8% in New York and 1.3% in London on a bullish inventory report, but natural gas fell 2%, wiping out its gain from the previous session.

The equity market ended a 2-day rally with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.8% after President Barack Obama threatened to veto House Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” back up proposal for a budget settlement. The Republican-controlled House planned to vote on Boehner’s proposal Dec. 20.

Meanwhile, stock and energy prices were up in early trading after the National Association of Realtors reported US sales of existing homes rose 5.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in November, the highest level in 3 years. Officials credited the increase to a better job market and record low mortgage rates.

 

US inventory drops

The Energy Information Administration said commercial US crude inventories dropped 1 million bbl to 371.6 million bbl in the week ended Dec. 14, less than Wall Street’s consensus for a 1.8 million bbl draw. Gasoline stocks climbed 2.2 million bbl to 219.3 million bbl in the same period despite an increase in blending components. Analysts were expecting a 2 million bbl gain in gasoline. Distillate fuel inventories fell 1.1 million bbl to 117 million bbl, opposite the market’s outlook for a 1 million bbl boost (OGJ Online, Dec. 19, 2012).

Analysts with Raymond James & Associates Inc. in Houston noted the total tally of crude, gasoline, and distillate fuel inventories last week was below Wall Street’s expectations because of the unexpected drop in distillates. “Small declines in jet fuel and residual fuel oils were outweighed by an increase in unfinished oils,” they said.

Marc Ground at Standard New York Securities Inc., the Standard Bank Group, said the 1.1% increase in refinery utilization last week put it as the highest level since August.

EIA subsequently reported the withdrawal of 82 bcf of natural gas from US underground storage in the week ended Dec. 14, surpassing Wall Street’s expectation of a 76 bcf draw. That left working gas in storage at 3.724 tcf, which is 66 bcf more than the comparable period in 2011 and 345 bcf above the 5-year average.

 

Energy prices

The January and February contracts for benchmark US sweet, light crudes were up $1.58 each to $89.51/bbl and $89.98/bbl, respectively, Dec. 19 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., matched the front-month futures contract’s increase to $89.51/bbl.

Heating oil for January delivery gained 3.91¢ to $3.04/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month climbed 5.22¢ to $2.74/gal.

The January natural gas contract fell 9.8¢ to $3.32/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., dropped 2.7¢ to $3.26/MMbtu.

In London, the February IPE contract for North Sea Brent rose $1.52 to $110.36/bbl. Gas oil for January was up $8.75 to 937/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes increased 72¢ to $107.10/bbl.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com

 

Related Articles

EOG Resources’ budget down 40% to $4.9-5.1 billion

02/20/2015 EOG Resources Inc., Houston, plans a capital budget of $4.9-5.1 billion in 2015 including production facilities and midstream expenditures, represe...

BHI’s rig count reaches 5-year low; forecast projects more losses

02/20/2015 The US drilling rig count fell 48 units—markedly fewer compared with declines in recent weeks—to settle at 1,310 rigs working during the week ended...

More pragmatism urged for developing Eastern Mediterranean gas

02/20/2015 Eastern Mediterranean nations should abandon inflated expectations and adopt more realistic approaches to developing their natural gas resources, s...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices down on US supply build

02/20/2015 US light, sweet crude oil prices for March delivery settled at slightly above $51/bbl on the New York market Feb. 19 after a government weekly repo...

PwC: Chemicals industry M&A activity in 2014 reached 10-year high

02/19/2015 Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the US chemicals business ramped up substantially in 2014, recording the highest volume in a decade ...

Marathon revises down budget by 20%

02/19/2015

Marathon Oil Corp., Houston, has reduced its capital, investment, and exploration budget for 2015 by another 20% to $3.5 billion.

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices drop before weekly inventory report

02/19/2015 US light, sweet crude oil prices for March delivery settled down more than $1/bbl on the New York market Feb. 18 awaiting the government’s weekly r...

Murkowski, Heitkamp lead Senate call for crude exports to Mexico

02/18/2015 US Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) led a coalition asking US Sec. of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a Feb. 18 letter to encour...

Pemex cuts budget by $4 billion

02/18/2015 The board of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has approved a $4-billion budget reduction for 2015, an 11.5% decrease compared with the previous expendit...
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


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

When Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


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


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