MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil futures fall below $94/bbl, as stocks climb

Crude oil prices on the New York market dipped below $94/bbl on Nov. 5, marking their lowest level since June 4 upon anticipation of another build in US oil and product stockpiles.

As analysts expected, the US Energy Information Administration’s weekly report marked its seventh consecutive gain, and much of the inventory build was attributed to refiners cutting back on processing rates during seasonal maintenance work.

On Nov. 6, EIA said US commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 1.6 million bbl for the week ended Nov. 1 compared with the previous week.

At 385.4 million bbl, crude oil inventories are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year, EIA said. Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 3.8 million bbl and are in the upper half of the average range.

Finished gasoline inventories decreased while blending components inventories increased last week. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 4.9 million bbl and are at the lower limit of the average range for this time of year, EIA said. Propane-propylene inventories fell 2.7 million bbl and are in the lower half of the average range.

Refinery inputs averaged about 15.1 million b/d for the week ended Nov. 1, which was 16,000 b/d above the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 86.8% of their operable capacity.

Gasoline production decreased, averaging about 8.4 million b/d, while distillate fuel production increased slightly, averaging more than 4.9 million b/d.

US crude oil imports averaged over 7.2 million b/d, down by 235,000 b/d from the previous week. Over the last 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged 7.6 million b/d, which was 690,000 b/d below the same 4-week period last year.

Total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, for the week ended Nov. 1 averaged 472,000 b/d while distillate fuel imports averaged 226,000 b/d.

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange December crude contract dropped $1.25 on Nov. 5, settling at $93.37/bbl. The January 2014 contract also declined, falling $1.25 to $93.73/bbl.

Heating oil for December delivery lost 1¢ to a rounded $2.86/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for December delivery was off 1.2¢ to a rounded $2.52/gal.

The December natural gas contract on NYMEX gained 2.1¢ settling at $3.47/MMbtu. On the US spot market, the gas price at Henry Hub, La., was a rounded $3.36/MMbtu, a decrease of 2.2¢ from Nov. 4.

In London, the December ICE contract for Brent crude oil declined 90¢ to settle at $105.33/bbl. The January 2014 contract dropped 82¢, settling at $105.28/bbl. The November contract for ICE gas oil dropped $1 to $903/tonne.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reported its basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $103.83/bbl on Nov. 5, down 39¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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