Analysts attributed the price drop to an unexpected rise in US crude inventories. The US Energy Information Administration’s weekly Petroleum Status Report indicated that US commercial crude inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased 2.6 million bbl for the week ended Aug. 14 compared with the previous week.
Analysts previously surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected supplies would decline by 1.1 million bbl on the week.
Meanwhile, light, sweet oil prices set fresh 6-year lows again, and analysts said the downward momentum could continue.
“Given where we are now, there is a 90% likelihood that we will dip into the $30s,” said Chris Main, Citigroup Inc. oil strategist.
The natural gas contract for September edged up 1¢ to a rounded $2.72/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price rose 2¢ to $2.73/MMbtu.
Heating oil for September delivery dropped 4¢ to a rounded $1.52/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for September was down nearly 9¢ to a rounded $1.56/gal.
The October ICE contract for Brent crude decreased $1.65 to $47.16/bbl, while the November contract dropped $1.65 to $47.93/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for September declined $8 to $463/tonne.
The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes for Aug. 19 was $45.39/bbl, down 38¢.
Contact Paula Dittrick at [email protected].
*Paula Dittrick is editor of OGJ’s Unconventional Oil & Gas Report.