A broader market sell-off, after the Fed released its minutes, did not reverberate within the energy complex. Oil instead took its cue from the EIA's weekly inventory report that showed crude fell by 200,000 million barrels versus the prior week. Iran's continued saber rattling, this time in the form of an announcement that they have developed a faster method for uranium enrichment, also gave the energy complex some lift.
Brent and WTI crude both ended the trading day solidly higher. On the NYMEX, March contracts gained $1.06 to settle at $101.80 per barrel. April futures for Brent crude approached $120 per barrel but eased back to finish up $1.58 at $118.93 per barrel, which was still an eight-month high.
Among refined products, March reformulated gasoline blendstock was up two cents to finish at $3.00 per gallon, rounded.
Natural gas did not participate in the energy rally and fell nearly eleven cents Wednesday to settle at $2.425 per MMBtu for the March contract. Typically, natural gas prices stage a short rally during early spring, but high daily production estimates, despite the shut-in plans announced by exploration and production companies, may continue to pressure prices and mute the seasonal positive impact we would expect to see before April.
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