MARKET WATCH: Oil benchmarks decline for fourth straight day

Brent crude oil for September dropped by more than $1.70 to settle under $62/bbl in London on July 18 while the light, sweet crude oil contract for August dropped nearly $1.50 to settle under $56/bbl in New York on July 18.

Brent crude oil for September dropped by more than $1.70 to settle under $62/bbl in London on July 18 while the light, sweet crude oil contract for August dropped nearly $1.50 to settle under $56/bbl in New York on July 18.

Both benchmarks declined to their lowest front-month contract settlement since June 19, Dow Jones Market Data showed.

News of higher Russian oil production helped pressured prices downward. Russian Oil Minister Alexander Novak recently said, “Production has been restored” after Russia’s oil output dropped to a multiyear low in June, said Tyler Richey, co-editor of Sevens Report Research.

Light, sweet crude oil prices had reached above $60/bbl for the week ended July 12 as a tropical storm system churned in the Gulf of Mexico. The system came ashore in Louisiana as Hurricane Barry but was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement monitors oil and gas operators as they return to gulf platforms and rigs.

From operator reports as of July 18, BSEE estimates 18.78%, or 354,985 b/d, of current gulf oil production remained shut in. BSEE also estimated 18.68% of gas production, or 519.3 MMcfd, remained shut in.

Energy prices

Light, sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange for August delivery fell $1.48 to $55.30/bbl on July 18 while the September contract declined $1.50 to $55.42/bbl.

NYMEX natural gas for August fell 1¢ to a rounded $2.28/MMbtu.

Ultralow-sulfur diesel for August dropped 3¢ to a rounded $1.86/gal. The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for August decreased 4¢ to a rounded $1.83/gal.

Brent crude for September dropped $1.73 to $61.93/bbl. The October price decreased $1.60 to settle at $61.59/bbl.

The gas oil contract for August fell $14 to $569/tonne on July 18.

The average for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of crudes was $63.10/bbl on July 18, down $1.50.

Contact Paula Dittrick at pdittrick@endeavorb2b.com.

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