MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent crude prices close Feb. 16 with weekly high

Light, sweet crude oil prices on the New York market and Brent prices in London ended at a single-week high on Feb. 16, which analysts attributed to a smaller-than-expected build in US crude oil inventories.

Light, sweet crude oil prices on the New York market and Brent prices in London ended at a single-week high on Feb. 16, which analysts attributed to a smaller-than-expected build in US crude oil inventories.

Although the US crude oil inventory built for a third consecutive week, analysts said investors generally believe, at least for now, that supply is not building fast enough to overwhelm world oil markets despite rising US oil production.

The US Energy Information Administration estimated commercial crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased 1.8 million bbl to 422.1 million bbl during the week ended Feb. 9 compared with the previous week (OGJ Online, Feb. 14, 2018).

It was the third consecutive weekly oil inventory increase. EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report also said US oil production reached 10.271 million b/d for the week ended Feb. 9, up 20,000 b/d from the previous week.

Production across the Lower 48 was up 25,000 b/d to 9.752 million b/d while Alaska’s production fell 5,000 b/d to 519,000 b/d for the week ended Feb. 9 compared with the previous week.

Energy prices

The March light, sweet crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 34¢ on Feb. 16 to settle at $61.68/bbl. The April contract rose 38¢ to $61.55/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for March fell 2¢ to a rounded $2.56/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price dropped 1¢ to $2.48/MMbtu.

Ultralow-sulfur diesel for March increased by nearly 2¢ to a rounded $1.91/gal. The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for March gained a rounded 2¢ to a rounded $1.75/gal.

Brent crude oil for April settled up 5¢ to $64.84/bbl on London’s ICE. The May contract also was up by 5¢ to $64.53/bbl. The gas oil contract for March was $570.25/tonne, up $27.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of crudes was $62.41/bbl on Feb. 16 up 32¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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