HOUSTON, Apr. 10 -- Energy prices retreated Apr. 7 after Edmund Daukoru, president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said his group is unlikely to cut production in the face of high prices and geopolitical threats to crude supplies.
Iranian officials are again saying they may reduce crude production if the United Nations Security Council imposes trade restraints against Iran for its nuclear program.
Meanwhile, government officials in Nigeria now say crude production from that country may resume in a month. Some 630,000 b/d, or 26% of Nigeria's normal crude production, has been shut in because of sabotage of oil industry facilities and kidnappings of workers in the Niger Delta.
The price retreat also was influenced by failure of the front-month May crude contract to close above $68/bbl after climbing to $68.20/bbl in intraday trading in the previous session, analysts said.
The Energy Information Administration reported Apr. 5 that US commercial crude inventories escalated by 2.1 million bbl to 342.8 million bbl during the week ended Mar. 31. However, gasoline inventories plunged by 4.4 million bbl to 211.8 million bbl—"roughly in line with year-ago levels," EIA officials reported. Distillate stocks fell by 2.6 million bbl to 121.6 million bbl in the same period.
The May crude contract lost 55¢ to $67.39/bbl Apr. 7 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The June contract declined by 42¢ to $68.64/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., was down by 55¢ to $67.40/bbl. Gasoline for May delivery dropped 2.31¢ to $1.98/gal on NYMEX. Heating oil for the same month declined by 0.81¢ to $1.88/gal. The May natural gas contract fell 22.9¢ to $6.74/MMbtu on NYMEX.
In London, the May IPE contract for North Sea Brent crude also lost 55¢, to $67.29/bbl. Gas oil for April was down by $4.75 to $581.75/tonne.
The OPEC office in Vienna was closed for a holiday on Apr. 10, so no price was reported for the group's basket of 11 benchmark crudes.
Contact Sam Fletcher at [email protected].