MARKET WATCH: Oil prices rise on US Senate budget, debt deal

Oil futures rose by more than $1/bbl on the New York market Oct. 16 as the US Senate approved an agreement to reopen the partially closed government through Jan. 15 and suspend a US debt ceiling deadline through Feb. 7. The House of Representatives later approved the same deal.

The agreement eased fears a debt crisis would hinder oil demand. US President Barack Obama early Oct. 17 signed legislation clearing the way for furloughed federal employees to return to work after a 2-week political standoff on budget talks.

On the afternoon of Oct. 16, the American Petroleum Institute released a report showing US crude stockpiles for the week ended Oct. 11 rose by 5.9 million bbl, which was higher than expected. Analysts had told the Wall Street Journal that they expected oil inventories to have increased by 1.7 million bbl.

Meanwhile, the US Energy Information Administration’s weekly report was unavailable because the EIA was closed as a result of the government shutdown.

API said gasoline stockpiles fell by 2.2 million bbl and distillates fell by 1.3 million bbl for the week ended Oct. 11.

In Geneva, talks ended Oct. 16 between Iran and six world powers Oct. 16 concerning Iran’s nuclear program. The countries represented released a statement saying Iran had “an outline of a plan” and that the 2-day meeting resulted in “substantive and forward-looking” talks. More talks were scheduled Nov. 7-8.

Energy prices rally

The New York Mercantile Exchange November crude contract rallied on Oct. 16 regaining $1.08, settling at $102.29/bbl. The December contract climbed by $1.08 to $102.49/bbl.

Heating oil for November delivery was up 2.2¢ to a rounded $3.04/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for November rose by 4.2¢ to a rounded $2.70/gal.

The November natural gas contract dropped 2.1¢ to a rounded $3.77/MMbtu on NYMEX. The December gas contract settled at a rounded $3.91/MMbtu, giving up 3¢. On the US spot market, the gas price at Henry Hub, La., was unavailable.

On the London market, the November ICE Brent crude oil settled 90¢ higher at $110.86/bbl on Oct. 16, which was the expiration for that contract.

The December contract for Brent climbed $1.17 to $110.59/bbl. The November contract for ICE gas oil was up $4.75 to $945/tonne.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $107.19/bbl on Oct. 16, down 45¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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