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Crude Oil Gains But Gasoline Falls as Irma Hits Florida

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The US light, sweet crude oil contract for October gained modestly on the New York market Sept. 11 while heating oil and gasoline futures prices fell as Hurricane Irma moved north along Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Irma did not cause any damage to the limited oil infrastructure in Florida, which consists primarily of ports and storage terminals, but sparked concerns among market participants about depressed refined product demand, S&P Global Platts said.

Regarding the US oil inventory for the week ended Sept. 8, S&P Global Platts expects a build of about 10 million bbl compared with the previous week given a reduction in US refining capacity following Hurricane Harvey.

The US Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly inventory report on oil and production inventories on Sept. 13.

Harry Tchilinguirian, global head of commodity markets at BNP Paribas, said industry continues to assess the extent of Harvey’s damage on refineries.

In a "dramatic situation” like a hurricane, there is going to be "a lot of volatility in the numbers,” Tchilinguirian told the Wall Street Journal.

Separately, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries issued its Monthly Oil Market Report on Sept. 11, showing a slight decline in production.

OPEC production for August was 32.755 million b/d compared with 32.834 million b/d in July, OPEC secondary sources estimated.

Energy prices

The October light, sweet crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 59¢ on Sept. 11 to settle at $48.07/bbl while the November contract climbed 56¢ to settle at $48.62/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for October rose 6¢ to $2.95/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price was up 2¢ to $2.85/MMbtu.

Heating oil for October declined 2.3¢ to a rounded $1.74/gal. The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for October was down 1.3¢ to settle at a rounded $1.63/gal on Sept. 11.

The Brent crude contract for November on London’s ICE rose 6¢ to $53.84/bbl. The December contract climbed 11¢ to $53.69/bbl. The gas oil contract for October was $516.75/tonne.

OPEC’s basket of crudes for Sept. 11 was $51.82/bbl, down 71¢.

*Paula Dittrick is Oil & Gas Journal Upstream Technology Editor

(www.ogj.com, 12 September, 2017)
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