MARKET WATCH: Oil prices fall as EIA projects higher US crude output

Crude oil prices on the New York and London markets declined on Apr. 17 following release of a US government report projecting further oil production gains. The US Energy Information Administration’s latest Drilling Productivity Report forecasts crude output from the seven major US onshore producing regions to increase 124,000 b/d month-over-month in May to average 5.193 million b/d.

Crude oil prices on the New York and London markets declined on Apr. 17 following release of a US government report projecting further oil production gains.

The US Energy Information Administration’s latest Drilling Productivity Report forecasts crude output from the seven major US onshore producing regions to increase 124,000 b/d month-over-month in May to average 5.193 million b/d (OGJ Online, Apr. 17, 2017).

The Permian is expected to rise 76,000 b/d during the month to 2.362 million b/d, while the neighboring Eagle Ford is projected to gain 39,000 b/d to 1.216 million b/d.

“The battle between the ‘sheiks and the shale oil producers’ is far from decided,” Commerzbank analysts said in a research note. A pact among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and several major non-OPEC producers to rebalance the global oil market by collectively curbing output by 1.8 million b/d is set to expire at the end of June.

OPEC will evaluate whether or not to continue the agreement into the second half during a May 25 meeting in Vienna. If the deal is continued and inventories drop as a result, Citi analysts see oil prices moving “above $60/bbl by the second half of the year,” according to a research note.

If the agreement isn’t extended, prices could drop “precipitously lower,” they said.

Energy prices

The crude oil contract for May delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 53¢ on Apr. 17 to close at $52.65/bbl. The June contract lost 49¢ to $53.11/bbl.

The natural gas price for May declined 6.4¢ to a rounded $3.16/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price closed Apr. 17 at $3.06/MMbtu, up 8¢.

Heating oil for May decreased 1.66¢ to a rounded $1.63/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for May dropped 1.53¢ to a rounded $1.72/gal.

The Brent crude contract for June on London’s ICE also declined 53¢, settling at $55.36/bbl. The July contract was down 49¢ to $55.88/bbl. The gas oil contract for May lost 25¢ at $497.75/tonne.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of benchmark crudes on Apr. 17 was $52.94/bbl, down 43¢.

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