Market Journal

Israeli incursion boosts oil prices

July 17, 2006 Crude prices soared to record highs above $78/bbl July 14 after Hezbollah raids into Israel triggered an Israeli military incursion into southern Lebanon earlier that week.

Heat lifts US natural gas prices

July 31, 2006 Natural gas futures prices escalated to a 5-week high July 26, peaking at $6.90/MMbtu in intraday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange before closing at $6.89/MMbtu, up 47.8¢ for the day.

Ethanol imported to meet demand

August 7, 2006 US demand for ethanol is outstripping supply and raising imports of the product.

Prudhoe Bay blindsides oil markets

August 14, 2006 Traders were watching the Israeli-Lebanese war, supply disruptions in Iraq and Nigeria, and Iran's nuclear ambitions when a new crisis blindsided world markets.

Middle East peace undercuts crude prices

August 21, 2006 Crude prices tumbled Aug. 14-17, dropping a total $4.29 to a 2-month low closing of $70.06/bbl on the New York market after a United Nations-sponsored ceasefire in Lebanon went into effect and BP PLC said it would keep online half of Prudhoe Bay, the biggest US oil field, while corroded transit lines are repaired.

Iranian crisis looms

August 28, 2006 Fearing an attempt to make atomic bombs, the United Nations Security Council demanded that Iran abandon its uranium enrichment program by the end of August or face international sanctions.

Gas market hunts bottom

September 5, 2006 For the first time in 6 weeks, the front-month natural gas futures contract fell below $6/MMbtu in interday trading Aug. 31 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Holiday week called 'bearish'

September 11, 2006 The abbreviated business week of Sept. 5-8 was "one of the most bearish" periods in recent months for the natural gas and crude futures markets, said analysts.

Natural gas futures price hits 2-year low

September 18, 2006 Natural gas futures fell below $5/MMbtu Sept. 14 to the lowest level in 2 years on the New York market after the US Energy Information Administration reported a large leap in US gas storage.

Crude prices test $60/bbl floor

September 22, 2006 The October contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes fell $2.14 to $61.66/bbl Sept. 19, the lowest closing since Mar. 21.

October gas contract ends near 4-year low

October 2, 2006 The expiring October natural gas contract dropped to a near 4-year low on the New York Mercantile Exchange during the last week of September, while crude prices continued to fluctuate as traders speculated whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries might soon cut production.

Crude prices dip below $59/bbl

October 9, 2006 The November contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes fell $2.35 to $58.68/bbl Oct. 3, the lowest front-month closing on the New York Mercantile Exchange since Feb. 16.

OPEC calls emergency meeting

October 16, 2006 After weeks of falling crude prices, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries finally agreed to an emergency meeting Oct. 19 in Qatar to discuss a possible production cut of 1 million b/d.

Reaction slow to OPEC cut

October 31, 2006 Energy markets were slow to show confidence that members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would follow through on an agreement to reduce production by Nov. 1.

2006 crude prices may have bottomed out

November 6, 2006 The December contract for benchmark US crudes apparently bottomed out at a new floor of $57.05/bbl in intraday trading Oct. 31 before closing at $58.73/bbl, up 37¢ for the day in a late technical rally that forced many traders to cover lower-priced sales positions on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude prices dip on IEA demand forecast

November 13, 2006 Energy prices on futures markets have swung widely recently.

Crude prices hit new low for the year

November 17, 2006 The December contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes plunged to $56.26/bbl, the lowest close for a front-month contract since Nov. 18, 2005.

December crude contract expires at low

November 27, 2006 The December contract for benchmark US crudes expired Nov. 17 at $55.81/bbl, the lowest closing price in 17 months on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Cold weather raises energy prices

December 5, 2006 Energy prices soared to the highest levels in months during the final 4 days of November as an arctic cold front moved across the Midwest US toward the East Coast, dumping several feet of snow in its wake.

Storage uncertainties undercut gas prices

December 11, 2006 The January natural gas contract registered the lowest closing price in 10 weeks on the New York futures market.
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