MARKET WATCH: Crude, gas prices at multi-month highs

The front-month crude contract continued climbing Apr. 1 for the fourth consecutive session to both the highest intraday and settlement prices on the New York market since early October 2008, said Reuters news service.

Sam Fletcher
OGJ Senior Writer

HOUSTON, Apr. 5 -- The front-month crude contract continued climbing Apr. 1 for the fourth consecutive session to both the highest intraday and settlement prices on the New York market since early October 2008, said Reuters news service.

The front-month natural gas contract also jumped above $4/MMbtu on NYMEX after the Energy Information Administration reported the injection of 12 bcf of natural gas into US underground storage in the week ended Mar. 26. That was the second injection within two consecutive weeks, marking an early end to winter demand. But the injection was below Wall Street’s consensus estimate of a 17 bcf input, pushing the price to its highest since Feb. 2.

A weak dollar and encouraging economic data, including a reduction in new US applications for unemployment benefits, helped drive up oil prices.

Energy prices
The May contract for benchmark US sweet, light, sweet crudes traded at $83.21-85.37/bbl on Apr. 1 before closing at $84.87/bbl, up $1.11 for the day on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The June contract gained $1.16 to $85.34/bbl. On the US spot market, West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Okla., was up $1.11 to $84.87/bbl. Heating oil for May delivery escalated by 3.77¢ to $2.22/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated blend stock for oxygenate blending for the same month increased 1.65¢ to $2.32/gal.

The May contract for natural gas jumped 21.7¢ to $4.09/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, however, gas at Henry Hub, La., dropped 11¢ to $3.73/MMbtu.

In London, the May IPE contract for North Sea Brent increased $1.31 to $84.01/bbl. Gas oil for April gained $14.75 to $746/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes was not available due to the OPEC Secretariat being closed Apr. 2 and Apr. 5.

Contact Sam Fletcher at samf@ogjonline.com.

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