MARKET WATCH: Stock and oil prices rise after budget agreement

Major US stock indexes jumped in early trading Jan. 2 after the US House of Representatives finally passed a budget bill in a late-night session on New Year’s day when the country technically went over the long-feared fiscal cliff as automatic tax increases and spending cuts kicked in.

Oil prices followed the equity market higher in early trading, but natural gas futures continued to slump. “Stock futures rallied on news of the deal. But today's celebration could turn sour next month when Congress will be asked to raise the debt ceiling,” said analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc.

Meanwhile, US Coast Guard officials reported a concial drilling unit that ran aground in a storm off Alaska appeared to be stable with no indication that any of its 143,000 gal of diesel fuel and 12,000 gal of combined lube oil and hydraulic fluid was leaking (OGJ Online, Jan. 2, 2013). The 266-ft Kulluk drilling unit had been working in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s North Slope and was being towed to its winter home in Seattle when it encountered a severe storm with 24-ft waves on New Year’s Eve. It was reported tug crews were forced by the storm to cut loose the barge, which then drifted 10 hr before grounding off uninhabited Sitkalidak Island 200 miles south of Anchorage.

The double-hull Kulluk was built in 1983 by Japan’s Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and is a veteran of Alaska drilling. It underwent $292 million in improvements before resuming work last year in the Beaufort Sea.

Even USCG classifies the mishap as a maritime transportation accident. But that didn’t stop Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, top-ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, from saying it confirms his claim drilling expansion “could prove disastrous for this sensitive environment.” Markey has long opposed oil and gas exploration and development in Alaska. He now also opposes US exports of natural gas exports, claiming US residents and industries shouldn’t be deprived of that energy resource.

Energy prices

The February contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes rose $1.02 to $91.82/bbl Dec. 31 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The March contract gained 97¢ to $92.27/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., was up $1.02 to $91.82/bbl.

The expiring heating oil contract for December delivery inched up 0.03¢ to $3.05/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month increased 1.21¢ to $2.82/gal.

The February natural gas contract fell 11.8¢ to $3.55/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, however, gas at Henry Hub, La., gained 0.1¢ but closed essentially unchanged at a rounded $3.40/MMbtu.

In London, the February IPE contract for North Sea Brent advanced 49¢ to $111.11/bbl. Gas oil for January dropped $6 to $927/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes declined 8¢ to $107.79/bbl. OPEC’s basket price averaged $109.45/bbl through 2012, compared with an average $107.46/bbl in 2011.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

Derailed West Virginia oil train carried Bakken crude

02/17/2015

A large-scale cleanup and investigation have launched following the Feb. 16 derailment of a CSX crude oil train near Mount Carbon, W.Va.

MARKET WATCH: Brent crude oil reaches above $62/bbl

02/17/2015 The April ICE contract for Brent crude oil prices rose modestly in London to settle above $62/bbl on Feb. 16 while the New York Mercantile Exchange...

Phillips 66 Partners to buy pipeline systems’ interests for $1 billion

02/16/2015 Phillips 66 Partners LP has reached agreement with Phillips 66 to acquire Phillips 66’s interests in three pipeline systems for a total of $1.01 bi...

Bear Head LNG exempted from 2012 Canadian environmental act

02/16/2015 Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd.’s wholly owned subsidiary Bear Head LNG Corp. received notice from the Canadian Environment Assessment Agency (CEAA) tha...

BLM decision clears way for first NPR-A federal oil production

02/16/2015 The US Bureau of Land Management issued a record of decision (ROD) for the proposed Greater Mooses Tooth One project (GMT1), which cleared the way ...

Indian state, Kuwaiti firm sign deal for refinery, petchem complex

02/16/2015 The government of India’s Andhra Pradesh state has entered an agreement with Al Qebla Al Watya Inc., a subsidiary of Mohammed Abdulmohsin Al-Kharaf...

Northern Territory selects Inpex in bid for onshore exploration

02/16/2015 Australia’s Northern Territory government has selected Inpex Corp. for onshore oil and gas exploration in the Beetaloo basin, southeast of Darwin.

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices near $53/bbl

02/16/2015 US light, sweet crude oil prices closed more than $1/bbl higher on the New York market Feb. 13, and Brent crude oil prices settled more than $2/bbl...

BOEM publishes second final SEIS for 2008 Chukchi Sea lease sale

02/13/2015 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management published a fresh supplemental environmental impact statement for a Chukchi Sea federal oil and gas sale o...
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


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