MARKET WATCH: Oil prices rise pending US decision on Iran

Light, sweet crude prices rose modestly Jan. 8 but settled for a second consecutive day below $62/bbl on the New York market while market participants await a decision on possible US sanctions against Iran.

Light, sweet crude prices rose modestly Jan. 8 but settled for a second consecutive day below $62/bbl on the New York market while market participants await a decision on possible US sanctions against Iran.

US President Donald Trump on Jan. 10 could reinstate US sanctions against Iran as he has previously suggested.

A 2015 international agreement lifted sanctions against Iran associated with its nuclear program. Analysts say the potential for new US sanctions is supporting crude oil prices.

Some Iranian citizens took to the streets in protest of their own government last week, which analysts say also supported oil prices.

Separately, oil analysts await the Jan. 9 release of the US Energy Information Administration’s monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook report, including US production forecasts.

The EIA plans to release its weekly inventory report Jan. 10 on US oil and product levels.

Energy prices

The February light, sweet crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 29¢ on Jan. 8 to $61.73/bbl. The March contract increased 31¢ to $61.72/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for February rose 4¢ to a rounded $2.84/MMbtu. But spot natural gas prices went the opposite direction. The Henry Hub cash gas price was $2.87/MMbtu, down 3¢.

Ultralow-sulfur diesel for February fell 1.3¢ to a rounded $2.05/gal.

The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for February climbed less than 1¢ to remain at a rounded $1.79/gal.

The Brent crude contract for March on London’s ICE gained 16¢ to settle at $67.78/bbl on Jan. 8. The April contract was up 21¢ to $67.31/bbl.

The gas oil contract for January was $601/tonne, down $3. OPEC’s basket of crudes was $65.85/bbl on Jan. 8, down 1¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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