Light, sweet crude oil climbed more than $1 on the New York market on Jan. 2 to settle above $45.50/bbl for February while Brent crude for March also gained more than $1 to approach a settlement of nearly $55/bbl in London.
The US government plans to release its weekly oil and product inventory report on Jan. 4, which is 2 days later than normal because of the New Year’s holiday.
Analysts attribute increasing US oil production, along with higher production from Saudi Arabia and Russia, for a fourth-quarter 2018 crude price. They say ample oil supply worldwide resulted from robust production combined with unexpected Iran sanction waivers to some countries by US President Donald Trump’s administration.
Meanwhile, uncertainty about the US-China trade dispute also has prompted some to lower their 2019 oil price targets.
Citigroup now expects supply will exceed demand every quarter in 2019. Citigroup forecast light, sweet crude futures will average around $50/bbl while Brent averages $60/bbl.
The February light, sweet crude contract on NYMEX gained $1.13 to settle at $46.54/bbl on Jan. 2 while the contract for March delivery settled at $46.86/bbl, up $1.14.
NYMEX natural gas for February edged up less than 1¢ to close at a rounded $2.96/MMbtu on Jan. 2.
Ultralow-sulfur diesel for February was up 2¢ to a rounded $1.70/gal. The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for February gained 2¢ to $1.32/gal.
Brent for March gained $1.11 to $54.91/bbl on London’s International Commodity Exchange while the April contract gained $1.13 to settle at $55.15/bbl. The gas oil contract was $517/tonne on Jan. 2, up $6.25.
The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of crudes was $52.17/bbl on Jan. 2, up 62¢ from Dec. 28.
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