MARKET WATCH: Oil prices climb but stay below earlier 2014 levels

Crude oil prices for December delivery climbed nearly 80¢ on the New York market Oct. 29 while Brent prices in London gained more than $1/bbl although oil prices still remain low compared with a few months ago.

Crude oil prices for December delivery climbed nearly 80¢ on the New York market Oct. 29 while Brent prices in London gained more than $1/bbl although oil prices still remain low compared with a few months ago.

Abdalla Salem El-Badri, secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said OPEC’s oil production this year is likely to be the same as last year. The cartel is unlikely to cut the ceiling on its overall production at an upcoming meeting in November, he told energy conference participants in London on Oct. 29 (OGJ Online, Oct. 29, 2014).

A policy-making committee of the Federal Reserve ended a meeting Oct. 29, saying the Fed plans to keep short-term interest rates near zero for a “considerable time.”

The Fed is ending a quantitative easing stimulus program that began in 2008, saying it believes the US economic recovery will continue. The stimulus program, which involved buying bonds, has been gradually reduced since last year.

Regarding natural gas in underground storage across the Lower 48, the Energy Information Administration estimated levels at 3.480 tcf as of Oct. 24, which was a net increase of 87 bcf from the previous week.

Stocks were 294 bcf less than last year at this time and 310 bcf below the 5-year average of 3.79 tcf, EIA said in its weekly gas storage report.

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange December crude oil contract rose 78¢ on Oct. 29, closing at $82.20/bbl. The January 2015 contract gained 84¢ to $81.96/bbl.

The natural gas contract for November climbed a rounded 8¢ to a rounded $3.73/MMbtu. The cash gas price at Henry Hub, La., was up 4¢, closing at $3.56/MMbtu.

Heating oil for November delivery was up a rounded 4.2¢ to a rounded $2.53/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for November delivery gained a rounded 2.5¢ to a rounded $2.22/gal.

The December ICE contract for Brent crude oil jumped $1.09 to $87.12/bbl. The January 2015 contract gained $1.10 to $87.59/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for November gained $17.25, settling at $757/tonne.

The average price for OPEC’s basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $83.24/bbl on Oct. 29, up 80¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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