MARKET WATCH: Crude oil futures prices rise on OPEC news report

Oil futures rebounded on the New York and London markets Sept. 16, which analysts attributed largely to reported comments about a possible production cut for next year by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Oil futures rebounded on the New York and London markets Sept. 16, which analysts attributed largely to reported comments about a possible production cut for next year by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

OPEC Sec. Gen. Abdalla el-Badri said Sept. 16 that OPEC might lower its 2015 production quota by 500,000 b/d to 29.5 million b/d during the group’s November meeting in Vienna, Reuters reported. Some OPEC delegates responded by telling reporters that they would not support a production cut for 2015. Meanwhile, Brent crude oil futures have settled under $100/bbl since Sept. 9.

On Sept. 17, US traders and analysts awaited news following a 2-day meeting of the US Federal Reserve policy committee. Fed Chair Janet Yellen scheduled an afternoon news conference. Investors will be watching for any indication about when the Fed might begin raising short-term interest rates.

The Energy Information Administration reported US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 3.7 million bbl for the week ended Sept. 12 compared with the previous week.

At 362.3 million bbl, crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year, EIA said in its weekly petroleum status report.

Gasoline inventories drop

Total US motor gasoline inventories decreased 1.6 million bbl, which EIA said was the middle of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories increased while blending components inventories decreased last week.

Distillate fuel inventories increased 300,000 bbl but remain below the lower limit of the average range for this time of year, EIA said. Propane-propylene inventories rose 1.4 million bbl, and those levels are above the upper limit of the average range.

US refinery inputs averaged more than 16.3 million b/d for the week ended Sept. 12. EIA said that was 28,000 b/d less than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 93% of capacity last week.

Gasoline production increased last week, averaging about 9.2 million b/d. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 4.9 million b/d.

US crude oil imports averaged more than 8.1 million b/d for the week ended Sept. 12, which EIA described as being up 493,000 b/d from the previous week. Over the last 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged about 7.8 million b/d, which was 3.7% below the same 4-week period last year.

Total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, last week averaged 327,000 b/d while distillate fuel imports averaged 160,000 b/d.

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange October crude oil contract rose $1.96 to $94.88/bbl on Sept. 16 while the November contract climbed $1.82 to $93.81/bbl.

The natural gas contract for October was up 6.4¢ to a rounded $4/MMbtu. On the US cash market, gas at Henry Hub, La., gave up 6¢ to $3.85/MMbtu.

Heating oil for October delivery was up 1.67¢ to $2.76/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for October delivery climbed 2.8¢ to at a rounded $2.56/gal.

The November ICE contract for Brent crude delivery rose $1.17 to $99.05/bbl. The December Brent contract climbed $1.11 to $99.73/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for October was up $3.25 to $834.75/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes on Sept. 16 was $95.30/bbl, up 62¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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