MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude drops below $62/bbl

Light, sweet crude prices dropped modestly to settle below $62/bbl on the New York market Jan. 5, but US crude futures still gained for the week for a third consecutive week.

Light, sweet crude prices dropped modestly to settle below $62/bbl on the New York market Jan. 5, but US crude futures still gained for the week for a third consecutive week.

Prices had climbed to near 3-year highs on Jan. 3 amid antigovernment protests in Iran, declining US crude supplies, and freezing temperatures across the US Northeast.

Possible crude oil supply disruption from Iran and geopolitical risk throughout the Middle East helped push oil prices higher amid declining global inventories, analysts said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers, including Russia, agreed in November 2017 to extend production-cut targets through Dec. 31.

Major producers are trying to reduce ample world oil supply and boost prices.

Baker Hughes reported the US drilling rig count fell 5 units to 924 rigs working during the week ended Jan. 5. The latest rig count was up 259 units from 1 year ago (OGJ Online, Jan. 5, 2017).

Energy prices

The February light, sweet crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 57¢ on Jan. 5 to $61.44/bbl. The March contract decreased 49¢ to $61.41/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for February fell nearly 8.5¢ to a rounded $2.80/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price was $2.90/MMbtu, down $1.52.

Ultralow-sulfur diesel for February fell nearly 2¢ to a rounded $2.06/gal.

The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for February declined 2¢ to a rounded $1.79/gal.

The Brent crude contract for March on London’s ICE dropped 45¢ to settle at $67.62/bbl on Jan. 5. The April contract fell 41¢ to $67.10/bbl.

The gas oil contract for January was $604/tonne, down $4. OPEC’s basket of crudes was $65.86/bbl on Jan. 5, down 27¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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