MARKET WATCH: US oil futures fall more than $2/bbl awaiting inventory report

Crude oil futures fell more than $2/bbl on the New York market during Apr. 22 trading while analysts awaited the Apr. 23 release of a weekly US government inventory report, which showed another rise in oil supply as they had anticipated.

The Energy Information Administration reported US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 3.5 million bbl to 397.7 million bbl total for the week ended Apr. 18 compared with from the previous week.

Current crude oil inventories are well above the average range for this time of year, EIA said. A Wall Street Journal survey showed analysts expected a rise of 2.4 million bbl for the week ended Apr. 18.

EIA has attributed the climbing oil supply to seasonal maintenance for refineries, the opening of a new TransCanada pipeline to the Gulf Coast, and increased US tight oil production.

On the London market, Brent fell modestly on Apr. 22 after a temporary easing of concerns that the Russia-Ukraine conflict could lead to Western sanctions on Russian oil exports.

But on Apr. 23, another round of hostilities appeared likely because the Ukraine government said it would resume military operations to oust rebels from eastern cities. Russia meanwhile has pledged to defend Russian citizens in Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his country was prepared to retaliate if its “legitimate interests” are directly attacked, and Lavrov compared the situation to a 2008 war over the Georgian region of South Ossetia.

US gasoline supply drops

Total US motor gasoline inventories decreased by 300,000 bbl for the week ended Apr. 18, which EIA was in the lower half of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and blending components inventories decreased last week.

Gasoline inventories have reached their lowest level for this time of year since 2011, EIA said.

Distillate fuel inventories increased by 600,000 bbl but are below the lower limit of the average range for this time of year. Propane-propylene inventories rose 1.2 million bbl, which EIA described as in the lower half of the average range.

US refinery inputs averaged 16 million b/d for the week ended Apr. 18, which was 367,000 b/d more than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 91% of capacity last week.

Gasoline production decreased for the week ended Apr. 18, averaging 8.9 million b/d. Distillate fuel production increased last week, averaging 5 million b/d.

US crude oil imports averaged 7.8 million b/d for the week ended Arp. 18, down by 475,000 b/d from the previous week. Over the last 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged about 7.6 million b/d, 1.4% below the same 4-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, last week averaged 448,000 b/d. Distillate fuel imports averaged 95,000 b/d last week.

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange May crude oil contract price declined by $2.24 to close at $102.24/bbl on Apr. 22, marking the lowest settlement since Apr. 7, and the May contract expired with the end of the trading session. The June contract dropped $1.90 to $101.75/bbl.

The May natural gas contract rose 4¢ to a rounded $4.74/MMbtu. Gas prices climbed upon forecasters saying cooler-than-normal temperatures are expected through early May. Cooler temperatures could extend US heating demand, which would drive gas demand.

Heating oil for May delivery edged down by 1¢ to a rounded $3/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for May delivery increased by less than a penny to remain at a rounded $3.09/gal. The RBOB contract is at its highest since July 2013.

In London the June ICE contract for Brent crude delivery fell 68¢, closing at $109.27/bbl. The July contract dropped 61¢ to close at $108.98/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for May dropped $6.75 to $920.75/tonne.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said for its basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $105.19 on Apr. 22, down 25¢ from the Apr. 21 price.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

Related Articles

Russia’s Turkey pipeline deal possibly may keep door to Europe ajar

12/18/2014 Russia’s memorandum of understanding to build a natural gas pipeline to Turkey after canceling its South Stream project could help keep the door op...

Patel appointed as LyondellBasell’s chief executive officer

12/18/2014 LyondellBasell has chosen Bhavesh V. Patel to serve as its chief executive officer effective Jan. 12, 2015. He succeeds James L. Gallogly, who...

Moody’s: Mid-term elections dim federal fracing regulation prospects

12/18/2014 Results of 2014’s congressional elections have reduced the prospect of the federal government enacting its own hydraulic fracturing regulations, Mo...

Apache awarded Western Australia offshore permit

12/18/2014 A day after reporting its planned divestment of Western Australian and Canadian assets to Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Apache Corp. has been awarded a ...

MEG Energy cuts capital spending for 2015 to $305 million (Can.) from $1.2 billion


MEG Energy Corp., Calgary, is reducing its 2015 capital spending plans to $305 million (Can.) from the original budget of $1.2 billion.

Thirty-one House Democrats ask Jewell to bar leasing in Arctic Ocean

12/18/2014 US Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) and 30 other House Democrats urged US Interior Sec. Sally Jewell to reject the second supplemental environmental i...

Obama makes Alaska’s Bristol Bay off-limits for oil, gas activity

12/17/2014 US President Barack Obama placed Bristol Bay off-limits for future oil and gas leasing, extending a temporary withdrawal he imposed in 2010 that wa...

Severance tax would backfire, Pennsylvania association leaders warn

12/17/2014 Enacting a severance tax aimed at Pennsylvania’s unconventional natural gas activity would substantially harm the commonwealth beyond the industry ...

New York state moves to ban hydraulic fracturing

12/17/2014 High-volume hydraulic fracturing will be banned in the state of New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced Dec. 17, citing health risks...

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts

On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.



Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.


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