MARKET WATCH: Crude price dips but natural gas little changed in mixed trading

After a two-session rally, front-month crude declined marginally in apparent profit-taking July 16 in mixed trading in the New York futures market while natural gas was little changed from a previous gain on warmer weather forecasts.

As for the broader market, analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc. reported, “After an 8-day winning streak, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index finally pulled back (albeit modestly) amid light trading volumes as investors awaited [Federal Reserve System Chairman] Ben Bernanke's semiannual 2-day testimony on monetary policy.”

At a House Financial Services committee hearing July 17, Bernanke said markets seem more stable since investors “are beginning to understand our message” of no “preset course” in the Fed’s proposal to reduce Treasury bond purchases. Stocks plunged when Bernanke said last month the Fed might reduce its $85 billion bond purchases this year. However, markets seemed to recover after he and other Fed officials said any reduction in the economic stimulation program would depend on the economy’s performance.

The Oil Service Index declined 1% July 16, but the SIG Oil Exploration & Production Index was up 0.5%.

US inventories

The Energy Information Administration said July 17 commercial US crude inventories fell 6.9 million bbl to 367 million bbl in the week ended July 12, far below Wall Street’s consensus for a 2 million bbl drop. Yet crude inventories remain above average for this time of year. Gasoline stocks jumped 3.1 million bbl to 224.1 million bbl last week, opposite market expectations of a 1.5 million bbl decline. Both finished gasoline and blending components increased, with total gasoline inventory well above average. Distillate fuel inventories climbed 3.9 million bbl, more than twice the 1.5 million bbl gain analysts expected.

Imports of crude into the US grew by 189,000 b/d to 7.7 million b/d last week. In the 4 weeks through July 12, US imports of crude averaged 7.7 million b/d, down 1.1 million b/d from the comparable period in 2012. Gasoline imports last week averaged 717,000 b/d while distillate fuel imports averaged 130,000 b/d.

The input of crude into US refineries increased 119,000 b/d to 16.2 million b/d last week with units operating at 92.8% of capacity. Gasoline production decreased to 9 million b/d; distillate fuel production increased to 5.1 million b/d.

Energy prices

The August contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes declined 32¢ to $106/bbl July 16 after gaining in the previous two sessions on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The September contract decreased 23¢ to $105.59/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., also was down 32¢ to $106/bbl.

Heating oil for August delivery however increased 2.08¢ to $3.05/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month rose 3.14¢ to $3.13/gal.

The August natural gas contract inched up 0.3¢ but closed essentially unchanged at a rounded $3.68/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., dipped 0.6¢ to $3.67/MMbtu.

In London, the August IPE contract for North Sea Brent gained 31¢ to $109.40/bbl. Gas oil for August advanced $3.75 to $919.75/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes was up 8¢ to $105.39/bbl.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

Shell cuts $15 billion in spending for 2015-17

01/30/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has curtailed more than $15 billion in potential spending over the next 3 years, but is not “not overreacting to current low ...

Victoria extends drilling, fracing ban

01/30/2015 The new Victorian Labor government of premier Daniel Andrews has extended the coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and hydraulic fracturing ban in the s...

Chevron’s $35 billion capital budget down 13% from last year

01/30/2015 Chevron Corp. will allocate $35 billion in its capital and exploratory investment program for 2015, including $4 billion of planned expenditures by...

US Senate passes bill approving Keystone XL pipeline project

01/30/2015 The US Senate has passed a bill approving construction of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline by a 62-36 vote after 3 weeks of debate. Nine...

Oxy cuts capital budget by a third

01/30/2015 In the midst of falling oil prices, Occidental Petroleum Corp., Houston, expects to reduce its total capital spending for 2015 to $5.8 billion from...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX natural gas prices drop after storage report

01/30/2015 US natural gas closed at its lowest price in more than 2 years on the New York market Jan. 29 following the government’s weekly gas storage report,...

Pennsylvania governor reinstates state forest drilling moratorium

01/29/2015 Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed an executive order fully reinstating a 2010 moratorium on new oil and gas leases in state forests and parks. ...

PwC: Low oil prices might drive surge in restructuring in 2015

01/29/2015 Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the oil and gas industry hit 10-year highs in terms of deal value and volume in 2014, according to a report f...

DOE could meet 45-day LNG export decision deadline, Senate panel told

01/29/2015 The US Department of Energy would have no trouble meeting a 45-day deadline to reach a national interest determination for proposed LNG export faci...
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


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