MARKET WATCH: Crude benchmarks drop despite lower US crude supplies

Light sweet crude prices on the New York market and Brent crude prices on the London market both fell to settle lower Apr. 17 despite the US Energy Information Administration’s weekly inventory report that showed the first weekly decline in US crude supplies in a month.

Apr 18th, 2019

Light sweet crude prices on the New York market and Brent crude prices on the London market both fell to settle lower Apr. 17 despite the US Energy Information Administration’s weekly inventory report that showed the first weekly decline in US crude supplies in a month.

Oil price benchmarks have been volatile in recent days. Analysts cite concerns about world oil supply given US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela and civil unrest in Libya.

US crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased by 1.4 million bbl for the week ended Apr. 12 from the previous week, the US Energy Information Administration reported (OGJ Online, Apr. 17, 2019).

At 455.2 million bbl, US crude oil inventories are 2% below the 5-year average for this time of year, EIA said.

Before the EIA inventory report was released, analysts polled by S&P Global Platts had expected a rise of 1.8 million bbl. Separately, the American Petroleum Institute said its own estimates showed a larger decrease of 3.1 million bbl.

EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report said total US oil production also decreased to 12.1 million b/d for the week ended Apr. 12, down 100,000 b/d from the previous week.

Energy prices

The May contract for light, sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange declined 29¢ to settle at $63.76/bbl on Apr. 17. The price for June delivery was down 32¢ to settle at $63.87/bbl.

NYMEX natural gas for May dropped 5¢ to a rounded $2.52/MMbtu.

Ultralow-sulfur diesel for May declined 1¢ to a rounded $2.07/gal. The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for May increased 1¢ to settle at $2.04/gal.

Brent crude for June fell 10¢ to settle at $71.62/bbl. The July price declined 12¢ to settle at $71.09/bbl.

The gas oil contract for May increased $3.50 to $637/tonne on Apr. 17.

OPEC’s basket of crudes for Apr. 17 was $70.81/bbl, up 70¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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