WTI's Trajectory Clears $70
The WTI crude oil futures contract for October settled above the $70 mark Thursday amid ongoing speculation tied to a Venezuelan-owned U.S. refiner and economic sanctions on Iran.
After surging to $70.50 a barrel, the October WTI futures contract settled at $70.25 for a 74-cent gain on the day. The October Brent price also ended the day higher, picking up 63 cents to settle at $77.77.
“Crude prices continued their upward trajectory today on the belief that more crude will be coming off the market as Venezuela continues to implode and sanctions bite in Iran,” Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute with Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, told Rigzone. “News of possible seizure of Citgo’s assets in the U.S. contributed to the sentiment around Venezuela.”
Citgo’s assets include refineries in Lemont, Ill., Lake Charles, La., and Corpus Christi, Texas, that can process a total of nearly 750,000 barrels per day of crude oil, according to the company’s website. The company, owned by Venezuela’s national oil company PDVSA, also owns terminal and pipeline facilities throughout the United States.
Also ending the day higher was the October Henry Hub natural gas price, which rose by a penny to settle at $2.87. The front-month reformulated gasoline contract also continued to rally, gaining just under four cents to end the day at $2.14.
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