MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices climb above $103/bbl, natural gas soars

Natural gas prices soared on the New York market Feb. 19 while crude oil prices also climbed upon forecasts for more cold temperatures, which continue driving strong demand for natural gas and heating oil for heating. Natural gas and distillate inventories have declined this winter.

The US Energy Information Administration said commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 1 million bbl for the week ended Feb. 14 compared with the previous week.

At 362.3 million barrels, US crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year, EIA said.

Separately, the American Petroleum Institute said its own survey indicated a decline of 473,000 bbl in crude supplies for the week ended Feb. 14.

For underground gas storage, EIA estimated 1.443 tcf as of Feb. 14, a net decline of 250 bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 975 bcf less than for the same period last year and 741 bcf below the 5-year average of 2.184 tcf.

The 250 bcf draw for the week ended Feb. 14 compared with a draw of 127 bcf for the same period a year ago, EIA said.

US working natural gas storage inventories are expected to end March near 10-year lows but reach 3.64 tcf by Nov. 1, according to Platts oil and natural gas analytics unit Bentek Energy. In a Feb. 19 market alert, Bentek reported record demand and record storage reduction following the recent polar vortex.

The supply-demand balance considerably during December 2013 and January. However, Bentek expects robust gas production will more than make up for the gap within months.

Distillate inventories drop

US distillate fuel inventories decreased by 300,000 bbl for the week ended Feb. 14, which EIA said was well below the lower limit of the average range for this time of year. Propane-propylene inventories fell 1.2 million bbl and are below the lower limit of the average range.

Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 300,000 barrels last week, and are well above the upper limit of the average range.

US refinery inputs averaged 15.2 million b/d during the week ended Feb. 14, which was 37,000 b/d less than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 86.8% of capacity.

Gasoline production decreased, averaging 8.8 million b/d for the week ended Feb. 14. Distillate fuel production also decreased, averaging over 4.5 million b/d, EIA said.

US crude oil imports averaged over 7.4 million b/d last week, down by 508,000 b/d from the previous week. Over 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged 7.6 million b/d, 1.8% below the same 4-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, averaged 410,000 b/d. Distillate fuel imports averaged 329,000 b/d last week.

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange March crude contract rose 88¢ to settle at $103.31/bbl, marking a record high for 2014. The April contract was $102.84/bbl, up 74¢ for the Feb. 19 closing.

Heating oil for March delivery was up 4.51¢ to a rounded $3.15/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for March delivery decreased 0.76¢ to a rounded $2.82/gal.

The March natural gas contract on NYMEX escalated 59.8¢ to a rounded $6.15/MMbtu. On the US spot market, the gas price at Henry Hub climbed to a rounded $5.97/MMbtu on Feb. 18, up 17.5¢ from Feb. 18.

In London, the April ICE contract for Brent edged up 1¢ to $110.47/bbl. The May contract was up 2¢ to close at $110.13/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for March climbed $7.50 to $940.50/tonne.

The Organizational of Petroleum Exporting Countries reported its basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $107.15/bbl on Feb. 19, up 62¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

Related Articles

EPA proposes voluntary methane reduction program for gas industry

07/24/2015 The US Environmental Protection Agency proposed a voluntary methane reduction program for the natural gas industry that would allow companies to ma...

Petrobras workers stage 24-hr strike

07/24/2015 Workers at beleaguered Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) staged a 24-hr strike across Brazil to protest plans by the state-owned company to liquid...

MARKET WATCH: Oil futures hover below $49/bbl

07/24/2015 Light, sweet crude oil futures prices settled under $49/bbl July 23 on the New York market, which means US prices have slid more than 20% since the...

EQT reports high IP from Utica dry gas well

07/24/2015 EQT Corp., Pittsburgh, said a deep, dry gas Utica well averaged 72.9 MMcfd with an average flowing casing pressure of 8,641 psi during a 24-hr deli...

Separate Murkowski bill addresses crude exports, OCS revenue sharing

07/24/2015 US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) introduced legislation that would end the ban on US crude oil expor...

OGUK updates guidelines for well abandonments


Oil & Gas UK has released updated guidelines for abandonment of wells, including cost estimates.

MARKET WATCH: Oil futures plunge below $50/bbl


Light, sweet crude oil futures prices plunged lower to settle below $50/bbl on the New York market on July 22.

Cornyn calls for more US energy exports in wake of Iran deal

07/23/2015 US Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said it would be geopolitically, economically, and strategically absurd for the US to maintain outmode...

Post-sanctions Iran initially won’t shake markets up, executive says

07/22/2015 Iran’s resumption of oil and gas exports, once sanctions are lifted under the recently negotiated nuclear limits agreement, probably won’t flood gl...
White Papers

Definitive Guide to Cybersecurity for the Oil & Gas Industry

In the Oil and Gas industry, there is no single adversary and no single threat to the information tech...

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

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
Available Webcasts

Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.


Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors


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