MAY OIL PRICES: ABOVE $50
OGJ, BLOOMBERG - The light, sweet crude oil contract for May settled above $50/bbl on the New York market Mar. 30 while the May Brent contract settled above $52.90/bbl in London. Prices edged lower on both markets on Mar. 31.
Analysts attributed price gains earlier in the week to a combination of reduced production in Libya and lower US distillates and gasoline inventories.
The oil-price rebound started with reports that militia had tampered with a pipeline from Sharara, an oil field in western Libya, to an export terminal, shutting in production. Libya's crude production dropped to about 500,000 b/d—the lowest since September 2016.
Libya was exempted from production-cut targets by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers. The total target is 1.8 million b/d with OPEC members agreeing to account for 1.2 million b/d of that.
Iraq has cut its oil production by more than 300,000 b/d. Iraq's state oil marketing company SOMO reported that Iraq's average production in March was 4.464 million b/d. Iraq's compliance to OPEC's cuts is 90%, SOMO Director Falah al-Amiri told Reuters.
The crude oil contract for May delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 89¢ on Mar. 30 to close at $50.35/bbl while the June contract gained 78¢ to $50.78/bbl.
The natural gas price for May dropped 40¢ to a rounded $3.19/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price closed Mar. 30 at $3.07/MMbtu, up 4¢.
Heating oil for April was up nearly 1.6¢ to a rounded $1.56/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for April climbed almost 1¢ to a rounded $1.68/gal.
The Brent crude contract for May on London's ICE gained 54¢ to $52.96/bbl. The June contract was up by 59¢ to $53.13/bbl. The gas oil contract settled at $470/tonne on Mar. 30, up $6.25.
The average price for OPEC's basket of benchmark crudes on Mar. 30 was $50.20/bbl, up 66¢.