MARKET WATCH: Crude barely breaks losing streak

Front-month crude managed a minimal gain May 15 after four sessions of price declines in the New York market. Natural gas continued its increase, up 1%.

“A bearish Department of Energy inventories report left crude flat on the day,” said analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc. However, the equity market set “a record high for the sixth-straight session,” they said. “The 0.4% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average came despite Euro-zone worries, disappointing manufacturing data, and a steeper fall in industrial production than expected.” The SIG Oil Exploration & Production Index and the Oil Service Index were down 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively.

The equity market and natural gas prices were flat while oil prices declined in early trading May 16 among mixed economic indicators. The US Department of Labor reported the consumer price index fell 0.4% in April—the biggest decline since December 2008—primarily because retail gasoline prices fell 8.1% last month. Excluding the decline in fuel cost, other prices primarily were unchanged, officials said.

The US Department of Commerce reported a 16.5% drop in new housing starts to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 853,000 in April after topping 1 million in March for the first time since 2008. However, applications for building permits rose 14.3% to 1.02 million, the most since June 2008.

In a separate report, DOL officials said there were 360,000 new applications for unemployment benefits last week, up 32,000 from a 5-year low the previous week in the largest increase since late March. The US unemployment rate remains at 7.5% with 4.8 million people receiving unemployment benefits in the week ended Apr. 27, the latest available data.

US inventories

DOE’s Energy Information Administration reported May 16 the injection of 99 bcf of natural gas into US underground storage in the week ended May 10, exceeding Wall Street’s consensus for 94 bcf input. That increased working gas in storage to 1.964 tcf, down 694 bcf from the comparable period a year ago and 83 bcf below the 5-year average.

EIA officials earlier reported commercial inventories of crude dipped 600,000 bbl to 394.9 million bbl last week opposite Wall Street’s consensus for a 500,000 bbl increase. Gasoline stocks were up 2.6 million bbl to 217.7 million bbl in the same period compared with analysts’ expectations of a 1.1 million bbl drop. Both finished gasoline and blending components increased. Distillate fuel inventories rose 2.3 million bbl to 119.9 million bbl, exceeding the market’s outlook for a 500,000 bbl gain (OGJ Online, May 15, 2013).

“The total increase in ‘Big Three’ inventories was larger than expected, with builds in gasoline and distillates, but a draw in crude. Jet fuel and residual fuel oil dipped sharply, capping the overall increase in total petroleum inventories at 1.9 million bbl,” Raymond James analysts said. “The out-of-consensus build in product inventories came amid an increase in imports [up 25% for the week) and lower demand [down 3.1%]. On a 4-week moving average basis, demand is up only 0.1% [for the year]. Better refinery utilization helped drive crude inventories lower. Cushing, Okla., inventories bounced back after 2 consecutive weeks of declines with a 600,000 bbl increase to 49.7 million bbl, which is 4.6 million bbl higher than this time last year.”

Energy prices

The June contract for benchmark US sweet, light crudes inched up 9¢ to $94.30/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The July contract rose 8¢ to $94.56/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing mimicked the June futures contract, up 9¢ to $94.30/bbl.

Heating oil for June delivery increased 0.71¢ to $2.88/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month advanced 2.94¢ to $2.87/gal.

The June natural gas contract gained 4.6¢ to $4.07/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., climbed 6¢ to $4.01/MMbtu.

In London, the June IPE contract for North Sea Brent escalated by $1.08 to $103.68/bbl. Gas oil for June fell $14 to $846.75/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes dropped 63¢ to $99.66/bbl.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

Statoil reduces capital budget by $2 billion following 4Q losses

02/06/2015 Statoil ASA has reduced its organic capital expenditure to $18 billion in 2015 from $20 billion in 2014. The move comes on the heels of a fourth qu...

Chinese regulators approve Sinopec’s plan for grassroots refinery

02/06/2015 China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has approved Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China Nation...

BOEM schedules public meetings about draft proposed 5-year OCS plan

02/06/2015 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold the first of 20 public meetings in Washington on Feb. 9 to receive public comments on potential ...

Union strike ongoing at US refineries as negotiations continue

02/06/2015 A strike by union workers at nine US refining and petrochemical production plants remains under way as the United Steelworkers Union (USW) continue...

NCOC lets $1.8-billion pipeline contract for Kashagan field

02/06/2015 North Caspian Operating Co. (NCOC) has let a $1.8-billion engineering and construction contract to ERSAI Caspian Contractor LLC, a subsidiary of Sa...

AOPL releases 2015 safety performance and strategic planning report

02/06/2015 The Association of Oil Pipe Lines is committed to further improvements despite a 99.99% safe petroleum liquids delivery rate, AOPL Pres. and Chief ...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil price bounces back up somewhat

02/06/2015 Crude oil prices on the New York market bounced up $2/bbl to settle slightly above $50/bbl Feb. 5. The positive momentum continued during early Jan...

Congressional Republicans renew bid to halt sue-and-settle maneuvers

02/05/2015 Calling it an affront to regulatory accountability that results in unchecked compliance burdens, US Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and US Rep. D...

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...
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