MARKET WATCH: Crude prices gain on Saudi-Iran tensions

Crude oil prices on the New York market gained modestly Nov. 9 as did Brent crude oil prices in London while conflict intensified between Middle Eastern rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Crude oil prices on the New York market gained modestly Nov. 9 as did Brent crude oil prices in London while conflict intensified between Middle Eastern rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The US benchmark settled above $57/bbl while Brent settled above $63/bbl.

Recently, Saudi Arabia accused Iran of arming Yemeni rebels with advanced rockets. Saudi officials also suggested Iran was meddling in Lebanon’s politics.

Iran responded by accusing Saudi Arabia of inflaming tensions needlessly. Both oil-producing nations belong to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Government officials in Riyadh on Nov. 9 instructed Saudi citizens to leave Lebanon, escalating a dispute over Hezbollah’s influence in that country.

The Wall Street Journal reported it was unclear whether Saudi Arabia recalled its diplomats from Beirut. Kuwait and the UAE also requested their citizens leave Lebanon.

The Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia considers Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization. Iran and Hezbollah—both Shiite—support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Saudi Arabia supports the Sunni-dominated Syrian opposition.

Energy prices

The December light, sweet crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 36¢ on Nov. 9 to $57.17/bbl. The January 2018 contract climbed 34¢ to $57.39/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for December increased 2.5¢ to a rounded $3.20/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price was $3.18/MMbtu, up 3¢.

Heating oil for December gained 2.5¢ to a rounded $1.95/gal. The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for December fell less than a penny to remain at a rounded $1.82/gal.

The Brent crude contract for January 2018 on London’s ICE increased 44¢ to $63.93/bbl. The February 2018 contract gained 46¢ to $63.74/bbl. The gas oil contract for November rose $6 to $569/tonne.

OPEC’s basket of crudes on Nov. 9 was $61.72/bbl, up 11¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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