OIL PRICES UP
Crude oil prices on the New York market bounced up $2/bbl to settle slightly above $50/bbl Feb. 5. The positive momentum continued during early Jan. 6 trading in what has proved to be a turbulent week for oil prices.
Brent prices also jumped $2/bbl higher on Jan. 5, which analysts attributed to reports of continuing unrest in Libya. The entrance to Mabruk oil field in central Libya was attacked and four people were reported to have been killed. Total SA jointly operates Mabruk field with Libya National Oil Co.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia increased its oil prices for US buyers late Feb. 5 while reducing its prices for Asian buyers.
US light, sweet oil prices showed early gains after the US Department of Labor said US nonfarm payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 257,000 jobs in January, which was more than the 237,000 that analysts had expected.
The New York Mercantile Exchange crude oil contract for March delivery gained $2.03 on Feb. 5, closing at $50.48/bbl. The April contract increased $2.01 to $51.31/bbl.
The natural gas contract for March was down 6.2¢ to $2.60/MMbtu on NYMEX. The Henry Hub, La., gas price was down 10¢ to $2.63/MMbtu on Feb. 5.
Heating oil for March climbed 3.9¢ to a rounded $1.81/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for March was up 4.3¢ to a rounded $1.52/gal.
The March ICE contract for Brent crude oil climbed $2.41 to settle at $56.57/bbl. Meanwhile, the April Brent contract was up $2.35 to $57.51/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for February gained $8 to $543.75/tonne.
The average price for OPEC's basket of 12 benchmark crudes on Feb. 5 was $50.81/bbl, down $1.41 from the previous day.
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U.S. EIA - Venezuela holds the largest oil reserves in the world, in large part because of the heavy oil reserves in the Orinoco Oil Basin. In addition to oil reserves, Venezuela has sizeable natural gas reserves, although the development of natural gas lags significantly behind that of oil. However, in the wake of political and economic instability in the country, crude oil production has dramatically decreased, reaching a multi-decades low in mid-2018.
U.S. BEA - The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $124.1 billion (preliminary) in the first quarter of 2018 from $116.1 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit was 2.5 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter, up from 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter.
WNN - There are 126 operational power reactors in 14 EU Member States, providing more than one-quarter of the bloc's total electricity production. In its Communication on the Nuclear Illustrative Program (PINC) published last year, the European Commission expects nuclear to maintain its significant role in Europe's energy mix up to 2050. This would require investment of some EUR40-50 billion (USD46-58 billion) in nuclear LTO by 2050.
REUTERS - Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 50 cents at $75.58 a barrel by 0835 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was 50 cents higher at $65.57.