Weekly Focus

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Crude oil prices rose last week and continued to gain on Monday, trading around $42.50 a barrel. Investors were optimistic after reports showed coronavirus infections had decreased to their lowest level in two months on Sunday. Fears of an extended shortage in supply due to the coming hurricane season also offered some support to prices. Over the weekend, crude producers in the Gulf of Mexico shut down over 1 million barrels a day of production as two hurricanes approached the coast. 

Retail gasoline prices were pretty steady in NYC and Upstate NY last week with average NYC prices at $2.284 and average Upstate NY down to $2.112. Gasoline and diesel prices continue to dip off the recent highs in the bounce back from springtime coronavirus lows. 
 
The NYMEX 12-month natural gas strip rose again last week, making it three weeks in a row of price gains. Strip prices are now approaching $2.90/Dth — levels not seen in over 18 months. Storage levels now sit at 21% above last year’s levels and 15% over the 5 year average for this week in the season. Most producers are continuing to hold back on any major production level increases, at least for the near term. Basis prices dropped for the week, offsetting the NYMEX price increases. Marcellus area 12-month basis prices and NYC area basis prices (Transco Z6 NNY) were both down by about $.04/Dth. 

The Zone J-Peak 12-month electricity strip ran up $0.50 last week with the rise in natural gas prices.  September on-peak power dropped $1.25 last week, as the weather forecast shows us gravitating to much more normal weather. NYISO load dropped to its lowest level since summer started with average hourly load between 18,000 MWs and 20,000 MWs.
Heating Oil
Heating oil futures decreased 0.023% for the week ending Friday, 8/21, as prices fell $0.03 per gallon.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude futures for delivery in September closed at $42.34 per barrel on Friday, 8/21, down 0.56% for the day, and up 0.79% for the week.

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