MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude price climbs to end March near $65/bbl

Light, sweet crude oil prices for May delivery gained by more than 50¢ to approach $65/bbl on the New York market Mar. 29 during the holiday-shortened week that ended the first quarter of 2018.

Light, sweet crude oil prices for May delivery gained by more than 50¢ to approach $65/bbl on the New York market Mar. 29 during the holiday-shortened week that ended the first quarter of 2018.

New York and London commodity markets were closed on Mar. 29. NYMEX crude oil futures have traded above the $60/bbl for much of 2018.

Crude oil prices in late January climbed to $66.66/bbl, the highest price since 2014. In February, the energy commodity briefly fell to its lowest for 2018 so far at $58.07/bbl.

March ended with a drop in the US rig count, marking the first decline for working rigs during the month of March.

Baker Hughes reported its weekly drilling rig count dropped 2 units to 993 during the week ended Mar. 30. The report, released Mar. 29 before the long Easter weekend, showed an overall increase of 169 units from year-ago levels (OGJ Online, Mar. 29, 2018).

Morgan Stanley forecast Brent crude oil will reach $75/bbl during the third quarter following peak refinery maintenance.

Energy prices

The May light, sweet crude contract on the NYMEX rose 56¢ on Mar. 29 to settle at $64.94/bbl. The June contract increased 52¢ to $64.87/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for May gained 3.5¢ to a rounded $2.73/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price rose 11¢ to $2.75/MMbtu on Mar. 29.

Ultralow-sulfur diesel for April increased 1¢ to a rounded $2.03/gal. The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for April edged up less than a penny to a rounded $2.02/gal.

Brent crude oil for May gained 74¢ to $70.27/bbl on London’s International Commodity Exchange as that contract expired. The June contract rose 58¢ to $69.34/bbl. The gas oil contract for April was $618/tonne, up $2.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of crudes was unavailable because the OPEC Secretariat office was closed Mar. 30 and Apr. 2.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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