MARKET WATCH: Oil prices climb pending rig count

The light, sweet crude oil prices for September and October delivery settled above $49/bbl on the New York market July 27 while the Brent crude oil prices for September and October settled above $51/bbl. Crude prices continued climbing early July 28 trading.

The light, sweet crude oil prices for September and October delivery settled above $49/bbl on the New York market July 27 while the Brent crude oil prices for September and October settled above $51/bbl. Crude prices continued climbing early July 28 trading.

Market participants awaited the weekly US rig count to be released by Baker Hughes later July 28. A decline in the active rig count could give short-term support to oil prices, ING Bank analysts said in a research note.

Separately, Royal Dutch Shell PLC executives discussed earnings, saying they cut costs in case crude prices never return to early 2014 levels.

Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said Shell believes oil prices could remain “lower forever.” Previously, industry had said “lower for longer” regarding the price slump that has lasted longer than expected.

“We have to have projects that are resilient in a world where oil has peaked,” van Beurden told reporters during a second-quarter earnings conference call. “There will be a continued need for investment in oil projects.”

Energy prices

The September light, sweet crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 29¢ on July 27 to settle at $49.04/bbl. The October contract also added 32¢ to close at $49.17/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for August gained 4.5¢ to a rounded $2.97/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price held steady at $2.92/MMbtu.

Heating oil for August edged up less than a penny to a rounded $1.60/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for August rose nearly 3¢ to a rounded $1.64/gal.

The Brent crude contract for September on London’s ICE gained 52¢ to $51.49/bbl. The October contract was up 42¢ to $51.52/bbl.

The August gas oil contract gained $5 to $475.25/tonne. OPEC’s basket of crudes on July 27 was $48.88/bbl, up 37¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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