Market Journal

OPEC holds pat on production

December 10, 2007 As was generally expected, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed Dec. 5 not to raise crude production since commercial oil inventories remained at comfortable levels.

Economic factors whiplash energy prices

December 17, 2007 The January crude contract for US light, sweet crudes on Dec. 12 closed in New York at $94.39/bbl, up $4.37 in the biggest 1-day gain since Jan. 30 and the highest closing since Nov. 27.

A December run for $100/bbl oil

December 31, 2007 With many observers convinced they had seen the last major run up in oil prices for 2007, the market mounted another run at $100/bbl crude in late December.

Oil finally tops $100/bbl

January 7, 2008 For the first time ever, a front-month crude contract hit $100/bbl Jan. 2 before closing at $99.62/bbl in the initial trading session of 2008 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude futures price closes at 5-week low

January 21, 2008 The February crude contract fell 71¢ to $90.13/bbl Jan. 17 on the New York Mercantile Exchange—its lowest closing in 5 weeks.

Government action revitalizes markets

January 28, 2008 Fears of recession and unauthorized trading at an international French bank battered equity markets, forcing government action that caused US energy prices to rebound in late January.

Mid-East demand up as OPEC holds output

February 4, 2008 As expected, OPEC ministers made no production changes at their Feb. 1 meeting in Vienna, despite pressure from the US and other large consuming countries to increase output.

Crude market lacks direction

February 12, 2008 Crude futures prices fluctuated sharply within a $5/bbl range in a directionless market in early February, with traders torn between fears of an economic recession and potential threats to oil supplies.

Greenspan: Odds favor recession

February 18, 2008 At Cambridge Energy Research Associates' annual energy conference in Houston, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said there is a "50% or better" chance that the US will experience an economic recession that will curtail energy demand.

Fundamentals don't support $105 oil

March 10, 2008 An unexpected drop in US oil inventories made the front-month price jump $5 to a record $104.52/bbl Mar. 5, although many of the industry's biggest participants and closest observers reported no new changes in either supply or demand to justify that fly-up.

Measuring 'extreme' oil prices

March 17, 2008 For seven sessions Mar. 5-13, the front-month crude contract consecutively set record high prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange as the US dollar fell.

Dollar value, crude prices fluctuate

March 31, 2008 The May benchmark US crude contract jumped above $107/bbl Mar. 27 in the New York market following the bombing of a primary export oil pipeline in southern Iraq.

Quarter ends with bang

April 8, 2008 The fluctuation of crude futures prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange in March ended the first quarter of 2008 with a bang, said Paul Horsnell, Barclays Capital Inc., London.

Energy prices climb

April 14, 2008 The front-month contract for benchmark US crudes jumped past $112/bbl Apr. 9 following a report that inventories of crude, gasoline, and distillate fuel fell to unexpectedly low levels in the week ended Apr. 4.

Weak dollar buoys oil prices

April 21, 2008 Analysts cite weak dollar, other factors in crude oil price rise.

Distillate demand driving market

April 28, 2008 Growing demand for middle distillate fuels in Asia and Europe has created a world shortage that can only be resolved by processing more crude to produce these straight-run products.

OPEC's position strengthens

May 5, 2008 Growing demand for crude combined with the slowdown in production of new supplies in other countries is placing the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in a powerful position, say industry analysts.

Energy prices continue climbing

May 12, 2008 The June contract for US light, sweet crudes jumped to a record of $126.27/bbl May 9 on NYMEX before closing at a record $125.96/bbl, gaining a total $9.64/bbl over five trading sessions that week.

Earthquake may shake energy market

May 19, 2008 After the massive May 12 earthquake hit the Sichuan province of central China, damage to hydroelectric and nuclear power plants could prove critical to energy markets.

Politicians ponder price peak

May 27, 2008 The July contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes traded above $135/bbl on NYMEX just prior to the May 26 Memorial Day holiday in the US that marked the unofficial start of the summer driving season.
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