MARKET WATCH: Oil prices waffle in indecisive markets

Oil markets continued to waffle with crude posting a marginal daily loss Jan. 25 but finishing up modestly overall for its seventh consecutive week. Natural gas prices continued to slip, however, down 3% for the week in the New York market despite colder weather in the US Northeast.

“However, there does appear to be a slowing of upward momentum in the US benchmark price,” said Marc Ground at Standard New York Securities Inc., the Standard Bank Group. Growing optimism over the US and Chinese economy has extended participants’ interest in West Texas Intermediate “beyond the enthusiasm that first followed the resumption of service in the Seaway Pipeline,” he said.

In the equity market major indices rose for the fourth straight week “as earnings generally topped Street expectations and fears over fiscal gridlock in Washington subsided. Energy stocks followed the broader markets,” said analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc.

Meanwhile, Raymond James analysts foresee a turbulent NGL market with prices averaging 74¢/gal in 2013 and 85¢/gal in 2014. “Producers have been taking advantage of the value uplift from NGLs; however, now with ethane and propane prices ‘pinned to the mat’ and our bearish crude price outlook, NGL prices could remain lower for longer,” they said.

Energy prices

The March contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes slipped 7¢ to $95.88/bbl Jan. 25 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The April contract declined 12¢ to $96.33/bbl. On the US spot market, WTI at Cushing, Okla., was down 7¢ to $95.88/bbl.

Heating oil for February delivery retreated 2.96¢ to $3.06/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month, however, increased 1.25¢ to $2.88/gal.

The February natural gas contract dipped 0.2¢ to $3.44/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., fell 14.7¢ to $3.41/MMbtu.

In London, the March IPE contract for North Sea Brent was unchanged at $113.28/bbl in the Jan. 25 session but posted a weekly gain of $1.39/bbl. Gas oil for February dropped $7.50 to $968.50/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes increased 32¢ to $110.20/bbl. So far this year, OPEC’s basket price has averaged $108.88/bbl.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

IAGC appoints new president

09/19/2014 The board of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors has reported that Ken Wells has been named as the organization’s president.

MARKET WATCH: Crude oil futures down more than $1 in New York, London

09/19/2014 The New York Mercantile Exchange October crude oil contract lost $1.35 to $93.07/bbl on Sept. 18. The November contract declined $1.22 to $91.98/bbl.

ExxonMobil ‘winding down’ Arctic well, complying with US, EU sanctions on Russia

09/19/2014 ExxonMobil Corp. released a statement that the company is complying with all US sanctions on Russia after news reports that the operator had halted...

ExxonMobil, Linn to make second asset exchange this year

09/19/2014 ExxonMobil Corp. has agreed to trade interest in 500 net acres from South Belridge field near Bakersfield, Calif., to Linn Energy LLC, Houston, in ...

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