MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil price jumps on falling US crude oil supplies

The crude oil price rebounded by more than $1/bbl on the New York market Aug. 20 to settle above $96/bbl after a weekly government report showed a larger-than-expected fall in the US crude oil inventory.

The Energy Information Administration estimated US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased by 4.5 million bbl for the week ended Aug. 15 compared with the previous week (OGJ Online, Aug. 20, 2014).

Regarding natural gas in underground storage across the Lower 48, EIA said stored working gas was at 2.5 tcf as of Aug. 15, which was a net increase of 88 bcf from the previous week.

Stocks were 500 bcf less than last year at this time and 535 bcf below the 5-year average of 3 tcf, EIA said Aug. 21 in the weekly storage report.

Meanwhile, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port was expected to reopen soon after being closed to tankers since Aug. 13 for pipeline repairs. A spokesman said the LOOP likely would be reopened by Aug. 23, perhaps as early as Aug. 21. LOOP receives US oil imports.

Chinese manufacturing activity weakened in August to a 3-month low, with a preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index slipping to 50.3 compared with 51.7 for July. Analysts said a slowing economy likely means slowing oil demand from China.

Elsewhere, Libya officials confirmed the resumption of oil exports from Es Sider terminal as expected after almost a year (OGJ Online, Aug. 19, 2014).

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange September crude oil contract gained $1.59 on Aug. 20, closing at $96.07/bbl. The October contract was down 59¢ to $93.45/bbl.

The natural gas contract for September dropped 5.4¢ to a rounded $3.82/MMbtu. On the US cash market, gas at Henry Hub, La., was up 1¢ to $3.85/MMbtu.

Heating oil for September delivery edged up less than a penny to a rounded $2.83/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for September delivery was up 1.72¢ to a rounded $2.71/gal.

The October ICE contract for Brent crude delivery climbed 72¢ to $102.28/bbl. The November rose 65¢ to $102.95/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for September gained $1.75 to $857.50/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $99.52/bbl on Aug. 20, up 59¢.

Contract Paula Dittrick at

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