MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent oil prices strengthening

Light, sweet crude prices approached 3-year highs on Jan. 10 pending a US decision on whether to extend temporary waivers on sanctions against Iran. Oil prices rose in early Jan. 11 trading on the New York market.

Light, sweet crude prices approached 3-year highs on Jan. 10 pending a US decision on whether to extend temporary waivers on sanctions against Iran. Oil prices rose in early Jan. 11 trading on the New York market.

US President Donald Trump this week is meeting with State Department officials and deciding whether to waive or reimpose sanctions on Iran, which could affect Iran’s oil exports.

“It will be very important for the oil market to see what he does with Iran considering that in the past-sanctions regime a large portion of exports was disrupted,” said Giovanni Staunovo, UBS Wealth Management commodity analyst.

Separately, UAE Energy and Industry Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said progress in being made to balance oil markets.

Speaking to CNBC at the 9th Gulf Intelligence UAE Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi, al-Mazrouei said, “Market fundamentals in 2017 have been good, but we’re looking forward to seeing another healthy year of production in 2018.”

Still, he believes 2018 could be the year that oil markets reach a supply-demand equilibrium.

“I am expecting that we will still see corrections in 2018, and I think it’s the year of…the market fully achieving the balance,” CNBC quoted al-Mazrouei.

Energy prices

The February light, sweet crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 61¢ on Jan. 10 to $63.57/bbl. The March contract increased 55¢ to $63.42/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for February fell nearly 2¢ to a rounded $2.90/MMbtu. But spot gas prices jumped. The Henry Hub cash gas price was $3.11/MMbtu, up 21¢.

Ultralow-sulfur diesel for February gained 1¢ to a rounded $2.08/gal.

The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for February edged down less than a penny to a rounded $1.83/gal.

The Brent crude contract for March on London’s ICE gained 38¢ to settle at $69.20/bbl on Jan. 10. The April contract was up 39¢ to $68.73/bbl.

The gas oil contract for January was $613/tonne, up $8.75. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of crudes was $67.24/bbl on Jan. 10, up 85¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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