MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil closes above $68/bbl

US light, sweet crude oil prices for May and June jumped by nearly $2/bbl on the New York market Apr. 18 to settle above $68/bbl while Brent for June delivery gained about the same in London to settle above $73/bbl.

US light, sweet crude oil prices for May and June jumped by nearly $2/bbl on the New York market Apr. 18 to settle above $68/bbl while Brent for June delivery gained about the same in London to settle above $73/bbl.

The momentum continued Apr. 19 with prices reaching their highest levels in 3 years. Brent crude briefly climbed to $74.44/bbl—its highest level since November 2014. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude oil reached $69.27/bbl in early trading, the highest point in 3 years.

US crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased 1.1 million bbl to 427.6 million bbl for the week ended Apr. 13, according to US Energy Information Administration data (OGJ Online, Apr. 18, 2018).

“The fact that the gasoline inventory reduction was more pronounced than anticipated was due to record-high gasoline demand, which is extremely unusual outside the summer driving season,” Commerzbank analysts said in a research note.

EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report showed US oil production rose 15,000 b/d for the week ended Apr. 13 to 10.54 million b/d. Production across the Lower 48 contributed 10.052 million b/d, up 25,000 b/d from the previous week. Alaska contributed 488,000 b/d, down 10,000 b/d.

Meanwhile, some representatives of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are scheduled to meet in Saudi Arabia Apr. 20 to discuss world oil inventories and oil prices.

Energy prices

The May light, sweet crude contract on the NYMEX gained $1.95 on Apr. 18 to settle at $68.47/bbl. The June contract rose $1.96 to $68.47/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for May edged up a fraction of 1¢ to remain at a rounded $2.74/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price was up 1¢ to $2.84/MMbtu.

Ultralow-sulfur diesel for May increased 3¢ to a rounded $2.09/gal. The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for May rose 2.7¢ to a rounded $2.07/gal.

Brent crude oil for June climbed $1.90 to settle at $73.48/bbl on London’s International Commodity Exchange. The July contract was up $1.87 to $72.84/bbl. The gas oil contract for May was $639.25/tonne.

OPEC’s basket of crudes averaged $69.39/bbl on Apr. 18, up $1.03.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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