MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices decline while natural gas gains momentum

US light, sweet crude oil prices settled below $60/bbl on the New York market May 14 to end a volatile week while natural gas prices gained momentum.

US light, sweet crude oil prices settled below $60/bbl on the New York market May 14 to end a volatile week while natural gas prices gained momentum.

The US Energy Information Administration said utilities will retire 4.3% of the nation’s coal-fired electric plants this year. Those plants are outdated or unable to meet new environmental regulations.

Consequently, gas-fired electric plants will be relied upon to supply more electricity to make up for those closing coal-fired plants, which will boost gas demand and US gas prices.

EIA’s weekly gas storage report showed a smaller-than-expected rise for the week ended May 8. An estimated 111 bcf of gas was added to underground storage, the latest weekly Gas Storage Report showed (OGJ, May 14, 2015).

Energy prices

The June crude oil contract on the New York Exchange June crude oil contract declined 62¢ on May 14 to settle at $59.88/bbl. The July contract for NYMEX oil fell 65¢ to settle at $60.84/bbl.

The natural gas contract for June increased 7.3¢ to a rounded $3/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price rose 1¢ to $2.87/MMbtu.

Heating oil for June edged up less than a penny to remain at a rounded $2/gal on May 14. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for June increased 1.7¢ to a rounded $2.06/gal.

The June ICE contract for Brent crude was down 22¢ to $66.59/bbl, while the July contract was down 57¢ to $66.70/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for June was down 25¢ to $614.25/tonne.

The average price for the OPEC’s basket of 12 benchmark crudes for May 14 was $63.13/bbl, down 64¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

*Paula Dittrick is editor of OGJ’s Unconventional Oil & Gas Report.

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