MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent oil prices continue slump

Oil prices slid on the New York market Aug. 18 while oil prices on the London market slumped to the lowest level since June 25, 2013, after Iraqi and Kurdish forces recaptured a dam from Islamic insurgents, reducing concerns about any immediate disruption to Iraqi oil production.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces were backed by US airstrikes. On Aug. 18, US forces used fighter jets, bombers, and drones in strikes around Iraq’s Mosul dam.

In Libya, state-owned National Oil Co. reported production has jumped to 550,000 b/d, up from 400,000 b/d last week.

Libya’s production remains well below its previous production of 1.6 million b/d (OGJ Online, July 16, 2014).

Production has climbed since July after the Libyan government negotiated with rebels to reopen ports that had been blocked for about a year.

Oil exports resumed last week at Ras Lanuf terminal, and Libya government officials expect exports could resume at the Es Sider port this week. Meanwhile, NOC has ramped up production at Libya’s largest oil field, in Sharara, and also at Misla and Sarir fields.

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange September crude oil contract dropped 94¢ on Aug. 18, closing at $96.41/bbl. The October contract dipped $1.57 to $93.75/bbl.

The natural gas contract for September rose 1.6¢ to a rounded $3.79/MMbtu. On the US cash market, gas at Henry Hub, La., held unchanged at $3.76/MMbtu.

Heating oil for September delivery was down 4.2¢ to a rounded $2.81/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for September delivery dropped 4.26¢ to a rounded $2.66/gal.

The October ICE contract for Brent crude delivery dropped $1.93 to $101.60/bbl. The November declined $1.84 to $102.30/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for September was down $13.25 to $853.50/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $99.42/bbl on Aug. 18, down 52¢.

Contract Paula Dittrick at

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