MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude prices rise on inventory drop, gasoline demand

Crude oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by about 40¢/bbl Aug. 2, settling toward $50/bbl again after a weekly US government report showed crude inventories dropped while gasoline demand rose for the week ended July 28.

Crude oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by about 40¢/bbl Aug. 2, settling toward $50/bbl again after a weekly US government report showed crude inventories dropped while gasoline demand rose for the week ended July 28.

The US Energy Information reported oil inventories fell 1.5 million bbl (OGJ Online, Aug. 2, 2107). Oil futures prices initially fell upon EIA’s release of the Weekly Petroleum Status Report.

The inventory decline was less than half of the 3.1 million bbl drop anticipated by analysts and traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal in advance of the report’s release.

But analysts said a bigger-than-expected drop in gasoline stockpiles and strong fuel demand helped raise crude prices by the trading day’s closing.

The US gasoline inventory fell 2.5 million bbl for the week ended July 28 compared with analysts’ expectations for a 500,000-bbl declined for the week.

US oil production rose by 20,000 b/d to 9.43 million b/d for the week ended July 28, EIA said. Alaska’s production dropped by 5,000 b/d to 400,000 b/d. Production across the Lower 48 rose 25,000 b/d to 9.03 million b/d.

Energy prices

The September light, sweet crude contract on NYMEX gained 43¢/bbl on Aug. 2 to settle at $49.59/bbl. The October contract rose by 44¢ to close at $49.73/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for September edged down less than a penny to a rounded $2.81/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price rose 2¢ to $2.77/MMbtu.

Heating oil for September gained nearly 2¢ to a rounded $1.66/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for September fell 1.6¢ to a rounded $1.64/gal.

The Brent crude contract for October on London’s ICE rose 58¢ to $52.36/bbl. The November contract was up 50¢ to $52.44/bbl.

The August gas oil contract rose $6.25 to $490/tonne. OPEC’s basket of crudes on Aug. 2 was $49.73/bbl, up 14¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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