MARKET WATCH: Geopolitical pressure from Syria pushed up oil prices

Oil prices continued to rally Apr. 25 with the front-month crude contract climbing 2.4% in the New York futures market on speculation of US military intervention after US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Syrian government “likely” used chemical weapons “on a small scale” in its 2-year conflict with rebels.

Other countries have made such claims, but this is the first time the White House has said US intelligence agencies reported that possibility.

In Houston, analysts with Raymond James & Associates Inc. said, “Hagel has urged caution until the facts are in place—after all, the US track record of identifying weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East is less than completely stellar.”

The West Texas Intermediate and North Sea Brent price spread dropped below $10/bbl for the first time in more than a year.

Equity markets were encouraged by news from the US Labor Department that new applications for jobless benefits “fell further than forecast to 339,000, increasing confidence in the economy and providing further support to commodity prices,” Raymond James analysts noted. Reaction of energy stocks was mixed, with the SIG Oil Exploration & Production Index up 0.7% while the Oil Service Index slipped 0.3%.

In other news, the Commerce Department reported Apr. 26 US economic growth escalated to an annual rate of 2.5% in the first quarter of this year, the result of the strongest consumer spending in more than 2 years. Government spending fell, however. Analysts say tax increases and federal budget cuts could slow the US economy later this year. 

Energy prices

The June contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes gained $2.21 to $93.64/bbl Apr. 25 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The July contract increased $2.22 to $93.91/bbl. On the US spot market, WTI at Cushing, Okla., was up $2.21 to $93.64/bbl

Heating oil for May delivery rose 6.04¢ to $2.90/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month advanced 6.44¢ to $2.81/gal.

The May natural gas contract inched up 0.1¢ but closed essentially unchanged at a rounded $4.17/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., dropped 9.6¢ to $4.18/MMbtu.

In London, the June IPE contract for Brent was up $1.68 to $103.41/bbl. Gas oil for May increased $10 to $857.50/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes gained 93¢ to $99.89/bbl.

Contact Sam Fletcher at


Related Articles

Emerging producers offered guidelines for governance

07/06/2015 Like most worthy endeavors, governing oil and gas activity at the national level is easier said than done-especially where oil and gas never before...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices fall on rise in US rig count

07/06/2015 US light, sweet crude oil prices edged down going into the July 4 holiday weekend on the New York market after Baker Hughes Inc. reported July 2 th...

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...

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...

Survey begins of collaboration on the UKCS


Deloitte has begun a survey about collaboration in the oil and gas producing industry of the UK Continental Shelf.

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent crude oil prices slump on Greek default fears

06/30/2015 US light, sweet crude oil futures and Brent crude oil futures for August delivery each settled down by more than $1/bbl on June 29, with Brent slid...

Group suggests principles for Alberta royalty review

06/29/2015 The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has suggested that four principles guide Alberta in an oil and gas royalty review planned by...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil for August hovers below $60/bbl

06/29/2015 US crude oil futures for August delivery settled below $60/bbl on the New York market June 26 as tensions mounted about Greece, which ordered lende...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil for August falls below $60/bbl

06/26/2015 US crude oil futures for August delivery settled below $60/bbl on the New York market June 25, and prices continued declining in early June 26 trad...
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