MARKET WATCHNatural gas futures price down on storage report

The natural gas futures price closed lower Apr. 26 on New York markets after the US Energy Information Administration reported an injection of 18 bcf of natural gas into underground storage.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Apr. 26 -- The natural gas futures price closed lower Apr. 26 on New York markets after the US Energy Information Administration reported an injection of 18 bcf of natural gas into underground storage. Working gas in storage now stands at 1,564 bcf, about 276 bcf below last year's levels at this time.

Crude oil futures prices, meanwhile, fell Apr. 26 on markets due to US refinery maintenance schedules and unscheduled outages, which have served to provide a price floor.

Brent crude eased slightly below $68/bbl after a week of gains, according to analysts at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Fla., "driven by comments from Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani suggesting that Tehran and the [European Union] are approaching what they call 'a united view' on Iran's nuclear program."

Separately, Raymond James analysts said a representative of the US Department of Energy reportedly mentioned that "the US is well-positioned for LNG import capacity, and building more terminals (aside from the ones currently under construction) may not be economic, as the lack of supply rather than restrained terminal capacity, will be the main constraint on LNG imports."

Energy prices
The June contract for benchmark US light, sweet crude fell 78¢ to $65.06/bbl on Apr. 26 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The July position also lost, reaching $66.41/bbl, down 79¢.

On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., was down 5¢ to $65.07/bbl. Heating oil for May delivery retreated by 1.24¢ to $1.89/gal. The May contract for reformulated blend stock for oxygenate blending (RBOB) rose about 1¢ to $2.29/gal.

Natural gas futures for May delivery on NYMEX expired at $7.51/MMbtu, down 18.1¢, "as moderate temperatures settled across the US, reducing demand," said analysts at Enerfax Daily. The June contract dropped 17.9¢ to $7.60/MMbtu and the July contract lost 17.3¢ to $7.76/MMbtu. "Temperatures will exceed seasonal averages across most of the nation through the first week of May," Enerfax said.

On the US spot market, meanwhile, natural gas at Henry Hub in Louisiana lost 9.5¢ to $7.51/MMbtu.

In London, the June IPE contract for North Sea Brent crude fell 92¢ to settle at $67.65. The May gas oil contract gained $2.75 to $593/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of 11 benchmark crudes rose 53¢ to $64.03/bbl on Apr. 26.

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