05282016Sat
Last update: Sat, 28 May 2016 10am

Fuel and Energy: World

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Oil prices dipped for a second day in a row on Friday as some investors took profit on a surge to seven-month highs while others worried about higher production with the market hovering near $50 a barrel. A stronger dollar also weighed on demand for dollar-denominated oil from holders of other currencies. The dollar spiked after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said a US rate hike was probably appropriate in coming months.
US natural gas futures on Wednesday were little changed on the penultimate day for the June front-month despite forecasts for stronger power usage to meet rising air conditioning demand over the next two weeks. After falling to a five-week low on Tuesday, front-month gas futures for June delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 1.2 cents, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $1.992 per million British thermal units.
Oil prices hit $50 a barrel on Thursday for the first time in seven months, then bounced below that level and settled lower on the day as investors worried robust price gains could encourage more output and add to the global glut. Wildfires in Canada''s oil sands, unrest in the Nigerian and Libyan energy sectors, and a near economic meltdown in Opec member Venezuela have knocked out nearly 4 million barrels per day in immediate production, sparking a buying frenzy in crude futures.
South Africa defended the sale of 10 million barrels of crude oil from its strategic reserves at below market prices in December, saying on Thursday it still had reserves for 90 days. The state-run Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) sold 10 million barrels of crude at $28 a barrel to a unit of Glencore, Vitol and Taleveras, Tseliso Maqubela, a director in the Central Energy Fund (CEF) said on Thursday.
US natural gas futures on Tuesday fell to a five-week low, settling below $2 for the first time since April, on midday forecasts for slightly cooler weather that is expected to ease power use for air conditioning over the next two weeks. After falling about 6 percent over the past three weeks, front-month gas futures for June delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 7.5 cents, or 3.6 percent, to settle at $1.980 per million British thermal units.
Oil prices rose about 2 percent on Wednesday after the US government reported a larger-than-expected drop in crude inventories, but profit-taking after the data kept prices below the $50 a barrel level that oil bulls had been hoping for.
Crude production in oil-rich but conflict-ridden Libya is now more than 300,000 barrels per day since a new terminal opened in the east, the LANA news agency announced on Tuesday.