By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 7 -- Crude oil futures closed slightly lower on the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday, while product futures prices ended mixed for the day.
The July contract for benchmark US sweet, light crudes dropped 10¢ to $24.79/bbl Thursday. The August contract also dropped 10¢ to $24.98/bbl. Both contracts continued the decline in after-hours electronic trading. The July contract was $24.68/bbl, and the August contract was $24.92/bbl.
During the regular NYMEX session Thursday, heating oil for July delivery was down 0.12¢ to 63.48¢/gal. Unleaded gasoline for the same month rose 0.57¢ to 75.70¢/gal. The July natural gas contract fell 7.8¢ to $3.18/Mcf.
The US Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration Thursday reported natural gas storage rose 105 bcf for the week ending May 31. The 105 bcf injection compared with 71 bcf in the previous week and 103 bcf for the same period last year.
Ronald Barone, analyst with UBS Warburg LLC, said, "The industry should realize a slight contraction in the surplus upon the release of the next EIA report. Therefore, we see modest surplus contractions through June."
In London, the July North Sea Brent crude contract closed at $24.22/bbl Thursday on the International Petroleum Exchange, down 4¢ from Wednesday's close. The July natural gas contract lost 1¢ to the equivalent of $1.75/bbl on the IPE.
The average price for OPEC's basket of seven benchmark crudes was up 11¢ to $23.25/bbl Thursday.