MARKET WATCH: Crude prices waver on rising production, refinery turnarounds

Rising crude production and refining turnarounds “has raised inventory levels markedly higher throughout the US in the past 2 weeks, widening inland-coastal differentials and discounting the entire US crude complex from other crude benchmark prices,” said Miswin Mahesh, analyst with Barclays Capital Inc.

“Absent any easing of US crude export restrictions, a scenario we believe unlikely, this dynamic looks to be a fixture of the market whenever crude supplies exceed refinery demand, Mahesh said, adding, “Brent dynamics were also slightly weaker by the end of the week due to lackluster economic signals in emerging markets, but they remain only slightly lower than last week due to continued production outages in the North Sea as well as geopolitical unrest.”

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange December crude contract edged up 25¢ on Oct. 24 to settle at $97.11/bbl. The January 2014 contract rose 24¢ to $97.24/bbl.

Heating oil for November delivery edged down 2.3¢ to $2.90/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for November was up 3.7¢ to a rounded $2.59/gal.

The November natural gas contract edged up a penny to a rounded $3.63/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, the gas price at Henry Hub, La., was a $3.62/MMbtu, down by 3.5¢.

In London, the December ICE contract for Brent crude oil lost 81¢, settling at $106.99/bbl. The January 2014 contract for Brent was also down, slipping 78¢ to settle at $106.57/bbl. The November contract for ICE gas oil dropped $8.50 to $911.50/tonne.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $105.57/bbl on Oct. 24, off 77¢.

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