Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

AFX Europe (Focus): Oil prices lower in Asia ahead of US inventory report

EXTRACT: Separately, protesters occupied an oil facility in southern Nigeria, forcing daily production cuts of 170,000 barrels per day, Royal Dutch Shell, the company hardest hit by this latest shutdown, said.

Published: May 16, 2007

SINGAPORE (XFN-ASIA) – Oil prices were lower in Asian trade as the market looked ahead to an expected easing of tight gasoline supplies in a weekly US energy inventory report, dealers said.

At 11.20 am (0320 GMT), New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, was down 15 cents at 63.02 usd a barrel after closing up 71 cents at 63.17 usd in US trading overnight.

Later today, the US Department of Energy will release its weekly snapshot of energy stockpiles.

CFC Seymour analyst Steve Rowles said there was little movement as the markets waited for the latest inventory numbers.

“The market will focus on gasoline … we expect to see higher gasoline inventories so that should take some of the gasoline inventory fears out of the market a little today and the price may go down,” Rowles said from Hong Kong.

He said the market was expecting a gain in gasoline stocks for the second week in a row after a three-month decline.

Distillate stocks were forecast to show an increase of 1 mln barrels while crude stocks would be unchanged, he predicted.

US gasoline supplies have come into focus ahead of the peak-demand season, which starts at the end of May when Americans traditionally take to the roads for their annual summer holidays.

US gasoline supplies had tightened in recent weeks due to seasonal refinery maintenance.

Lingering unrest in Nigeria, the world’s sixth biggest producer of crude, also continued to underpin prices. Nigerian production has been slashed by about one quarter due to persistent attacks on the country’s energy facilities.

“It’s a continuing story,” Rowles said.

Hercules Offshore Inc said it was scaling down operations in oil-rich southern Nigeria because of unrest there, following a similar decision by one of its major clients, Chevron.

Separately, protesters occupied an oil facility in southern Nigeria, forcing daily production cuts of 170,000 barrels per day, Royal Dutch Shell, the company hardest hit by this latest shutdown, said.

Meanwhile, the president of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Claude Mandil, said he planned a meeting with representatives of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to discuss the global supply situation.

The IEA, energy policy adviser to 26 industrialized member countries, is at odds with OPEC over the need to pump more crude to ease prices.

afp/mas

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

0 Comments on “AFX Europe (Focus): Oil prices lower in Asia ahead of US inventory report”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: