Market watch: Energy prices fall as US stocks rise

International energy futures prices declined Tuesday in anticipation of another bearish increase in US petroleum inventories. American Petroleum Institute later reported US stocks of oil, gasoline, and distillate fuels all increased last week.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, June 27 -- International energy futures prices declined Tuesday in anticipation of another bearish increase in US petroleum inventories.

After the markets closed, the American Petroleum Institute reported US gasoline stocks grew by 3.3 million bbl last week to 222.9 million bbl total, while US oil inventories added 565,000 bbl to 313.5 million bbl total. Distillate fuel stocks added 2.2 million bbl to 110.9 million bbl in all.

That makes it even more unlikely that members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will make any major adjustments in the production quotas during their meeting next week in Vienna.

Chakib Khelil, Algeria's energy minister and OPEC conference president, reiterated Tuesday that he sees no need for the group to increase production. "We are witnessing higher stocks levels," he said.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the August contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes closed at $26.98/bbl Tuesday, down 27¢ for the day. The September contract lost 22¢ to $26.96/bbl.

Unleaded gasoline for July delivery fell by 1.23¢ to 77.79¢/gal, while home heating oil retreated 0.7¢ to 73.19¢/gal. The July natural gas contract slumped 4.9¢ to $3.40/Mcf.

In London, the August contract for North Sea Brent crude dipped 8¢ to $26.99/bbl on the International Petroleum Exchange, but the July natural gas contract gained 8¢ to the equivalent of $2.45/Mcf.

The average price for OPEC's basket of seven crudes inched up 4¢ Tuesday to $25.61/bbl.

More in Economics & Markets