Market Journal

Inventory, weather influence markets

December 29, 2006 The February contract for benchmark US sweet, light crudes increased 26¢ to $63.72/bbl Dec. 20 as the US Energy Information Administration reported of a larger-than-expected 6.3 million bbl drop in commercial US crude stocks to 329.1 million bbl in the week ended Dec. 15.

Crude suffers severe 2-day loss

January 8, 2007 The February contract price for benchmark US crude fell 9% Jan. 3-4 to near 18-month lows in the first two trading sessions of 2007 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

NYMEX crude breaks $55/bbl price support

January 15, 2007 The February contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes broke through former market support to close at $54.02/bbl Jan. 10 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

US gas production, Canadian exports fall

January 29, 2007 Supply and demand balance reports issued by Bentek Energy LLC, an energy analyst based in Golden, Colo., have indicated in recent weeks a significant drop in North American natural gas production.

Cold boosts crude price above $59/bbl

February 6, 2007 The March contract for benchmark US crude closed above $59/bbl on the New York market for the first time in 2007 on Feb. 2 on the strength of forecasts that a severe cold front would hike heating demand 36% above normal in the Northeastern US, the largest heating oil market.

Crude challenges $60/bbl ceiling

February 12, 2007 The March contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes jumped to $59.89/bbl Feb. 9, the highest front-month crude closing on the New York Mercantile Exchange since late December.

Gas withdrawal fails to move market

February 19, 2007 Energy commodity prices fell Feb. 14-15 as traders in the New York market focused on a smaller-than-expected drawdown of US distillate stocks but shrugged off a near-record withdrawal of natural gas from US underground storage during the coldest week of this winter.

Crude futures price tops $61/bbl

February 23, 2007 The April contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes blew past $61/bbl to a 7-week high in intraday trade Feb. 22 in New York.

Energy prices seesaw in early March

March 12, 2007 Energy prices dipped in profit taking Mar. 2, ending a stretch of consecutive gains over the seven previous trading sessions.

OPEC takes no action

March 19, 2007 As expected, ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries made no move either to reduce or to increase production at their Mar. 15 meeting in Vienna, vowing instead to monitor the world oil market until they next meet in June.

Middle East tension hikes oil prices

March 26, 2007 Escalation of political tensions Mar. 23-25 appeared to threaten Middle East supplies and set the stage for another likely spike in crude prices.

Crude futures tally $5 price jump

April 2, 2007 In overnight electronic trading Mar. 27, crude futures prices jumped more than $5 to $68.09/bbl in New York and to $69/bbl for North Sea Brent in London, marking the biggest 1-day price change since December 2001.

US gas storage near record high

April 9, 2007 The US winter heating season ended Mar. 31 with 1.569 tcf of natural gas still in underground storage, "the second highest level ever," said Robert S. Morris, Banc of America Securities LLC, New York.

Supply outlook pressures prices

April 16, 2007 Energy prices fluctuated Apr. 9-13 with fast-paced changes in US inventories and political threats to Middle East crude supplies.

Gas tests $8/MMbtu

May 8, 2007 The June natural gas contract briefly pushed past $8/MMbtu May 3-4 in a rally by hedge-fund investors that forced traders to cover short positions on the New York market.

Sufficient supply or possible shortage?

May 14, 2007 Energy prices fluctuated sharply in early May because of differing assessments of sufficient supplies or possible shortages of crude and petroleum products.

Supply fears influence markets

May 21, 2007 The June contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes topped $65/bbl in intraday trading May 17 on the New York Mercantile Exchange as unexpected shut-ins of US refining capacity "sent shock waves through the markets," analysts said.

Market waffles prior to driving season

May 25, 2007 Crude futures prices waffled during trading sessions prior to the extended Memorial Day weekend May 26-28 that marked the start of the US summer driving season.

Analyst: Good year for independent refiners

June 11, 2007 Although the summer season of gasoline demand in the US has barely started, an analyst says, "It already looks like 2007 will be the best year yet for the independent refiners."

OPEC reduces demand forecast

June 18, 2007 The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries expects demand for its crude to average 30.6 million b/d in 2007, a slight decline of 200,000 b/d from the previous year.
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