MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil settles above $48/bbl

Light, sweet crude oil prices jumped more than $1/bbl on the New York market Sept. 5 while the US gasoline benchmark fell nearly 5¢. Traders attributed the price moves to growing demand for crude oil from restarted refineries along the Texas coast.

Light, sweet crude oil prices jumped more than $1/bbl on the New York market Sept. 5 while the US gasoline benchmark fell nearly 5¢. Traders attributed the price moves to growing demand for crude oil from restarted refineries along the Texas coast.

Hurricane Harvey made an initial landfall near Corpus Christi, Tex., on Aug. 25 as a Category 4 hurricane before being downgraded to a tropical storm that flooded much of Houston and East Texas.

US Gulf Coast refiners and shippers continue to restore operations amid possible damages and logistical constraints caused by the storm (OGJ Online, Sept. 5, 2017).

Colonial Pipeline Co. said it restarted its distillate Line 2 between Houston and Lake Charles, La., on Sept. 4 and its gasoline Line 2 between Houston and Lake Charles on Sept. 5.

Five refineries were restarting while six additional refineries in the Gulf Coast operated at reduced rate as of late Sept. 5, the US Department of Energy said in a daily infrastructure report.

Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery “is restarting major units with the aim of upping rates to around 40% by the weekend,” JBC Energy analysts said in a research report.

US oil and product inventory data for the week ended Sept. 1 will be released by the US Energy Information Administration on Sept. 7, one day later than normal because of the Sept. 4 Labor Day holiday.

S&P Global Platts anticipates crude stocks rose last week while gasoline and distillate stocks fell sharply, driven by the closure of more than one fifth of US refining capacity.

Market participants also monitored the path of Hurricane Irma. It was about 180 miles east of Antigua, moving west at 14 mph and expected to move over the Leeward Islands as of Sept. 5. Weather forecasters say Irma could make landfall in Florida or along the East Coast.

Energy prices

The October light, sweet crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained $1.37 on Sept. 6 to settle at $48.66/bbl while the November contract rose $1.15 to settle at $49.14/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for October fell nearly 10¢ to $2.97/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price was $2.86/MMbtu.

Heating oil for October edged up less than 1¢ to remain at a rounded $1.75/gal. The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for October was down 3¢ to settle at a rounded $1.75/gal on Sept. 1.

The Brent crude contract for November on London’s ICE climbed $1.04 to $53.38/bbl. The December contract increased 99¢ to $53.36/bbl. The gas oil contract was $517/tonne on Sept. 5, up $6.25.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of crudes for Sept. 5 was $50.82/bbl, up 62¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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