MARKET WATCH: NYMEX May crude oil jumps above $49/bbl

The light, sweet crude oil contract for May delivery climbed more than $1 on Mar. 29 to settle just above $49.50/bbl while the June contract gained $1.10 to settle at $50/bbl, which analysts largely attributed to drops in distillates and gasoline inventories.

The light, sweet crude oil contract for May delivery climbed more than $1 on Mar. 29 to settle just above $49.50/bbl while the June contract gained $1.10 to settle at $50/bbl, which analysts largely attributed to drops in distillates and gasoline inventories.

The US Energy Information Administration said US crude oil supplies, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, gained 900,000 bbl for the week ended Mar. 24 to 534 million bbl (OGJ Online, Mar. 29, 2017).

The Weekly Petroleum Status Report showed US production up 18,000 b/d to 9.1 million b/d for the week ended Mar. 24 compared with Mar. 17.

Lower 48 production accounted for 8.6 million b/d of the latest total, up 25,000 b/d. Alaska production for the week fell 7,000 b/d to 521,000 b/d, EIA said.

Analysts said EIA’s weekly oil inventory report showed crude supplies grew less than they had expected while distillates and gasoline inventories fell more than expected. The products inventory supported oil prices.

“The big falls in gasoline inventories, coming near the end of the refinery-maintenance season, suggest crude-oil inventories are on the cusp of declining,” said ANZ Research.

Societe Generale said oil prices also were supported by declining US oil imports and rising exports.

“The trending combination of higher crude runs and lower net crude imports should result in US crude stocks flattening and then starting to decline by the end of April,” Societe Generale analysts said.

Energy prices

The crude oil contract for May delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped $1.14 on Mar. 29 to close at $49.51/bbl while the June contract gained $1.10 to $50/bbl.

The natural gas price for April climbed 79¢ to a rounded $3.17/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price closed Mar. 29 at $3.03/MMbtu, up 10¢.

Heating oil for April was up nearly 3¢ to a rounded $1.54/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for April climbed almost 4¢ to a rounded $1.67/gal.

The Brent crude contract for May on London’s ICE gained $1.09 to $52.42/bbl. The June contract was up by $1.12 to $52.54/bbl. The gas oil contract settled at $463.75/tonne on Mar. 29, up $4.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of benchmark crudes on Mar. 30 was $49.54/bbl, up 70¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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