One Step Ahead.
For Over 140 Years.

Sprague provides businesses, municipalities and intermediaries differentiated and customized solutions. We’re constantly creating innovative products and services – delivering much more than products alone.

Log in to SpraguePORT/Real-Time


Refined Products

Recap: RBOB futures performed an about-face on Thursday, after reaching a 7-week low on Wednesday. The threat of a strike in Nigeria lifted both products and oil as well, as traders scrambled to cover shorts put on after the EIA reported larger than expected builds in U.S. inventories for both gasoline and heating oil. January gasoline continues to hold above the long standing ascending trend line, but worked its way back above the 50-day moving average, which is currently set at $1.6808. Based upon this activity, we would look for January RBOB to work its way back toward resistance set at $1.7312. Support is set at $1.64.25, which is provided by the previously mentioned trend line.  

Oil prices also reversed course on short covering due to the possibility of a strike in Nigeria. Today’s correction keeps WTI within the upward channel that can be depicted on a daily spot continuation chart, which keeps the main trend to the upside. We would look for a run at $57.59, the 10-day moving average. Above this level, additional resistance is set at $58.90. To the downside, support rests at $55.38 and $54.53. 

Brent futures rose 98 cents, or 1.6 percent, to settle at $62.20 a barrel, while U.S. WTI gained 73 cents, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $56.69.

Fundamental News:  Kuwait’s Oil Minister, Essam al-Marzouq, said he expects oil markets to rebalance by the third quarter or early fourth quarter of next year. 

Qatar’s Energy Minister, Mohammed al-Sada, said oil is moving towards a fair price and the level of global stocks is declining and moving towards the level sought by OPEC.  He also said an agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to reduce output to help balance the market had been successful. 

The White House said US President Donald Trump will meet with Republican senators on Thursday to discuss his commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard.  The President and senators will discuss how to address Renewable Fuel Standard program’s impact on independent refiners.      

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, one of the country’s two main oil unions, threatened to launch a nationwide strike from December 18th over what it said was a mass sacking of workers that joined the union. 

Credit Suisse raised its 2018 oil price forecasts citing strong OPEC adherence to pledged output cuts, which the bank said could normalize OECD inventory levels next year.  Credit Suisse raised its 2018 Brent price forecast to $60/barrel from $53/barrel and its WTI forecast to $56/barrel from $50.50/barrel. 

Nigeria’s oil exports in January are expected to fall from a 21-month high reached in December.  Crude oil exports of 1.76 million bpd are scheduled for January on 62 cargoes, down from 1.94 million bpd in December. 

The Kurdish Regional Government resumed shipments of crude by pipeline from the Shaikan field in northern Iraq, increasing flow through the link.  Oil received at the Ceyhan terminal in Turkey from the Kurdish region increased to 300,000 bpd in the 24 hours to Monday morning and has remained at that level.  Separately, Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters on Sunday started a second round of talks to resolve a conflict over control of the Kurdistan region’s border crossings. 

Iraq’s Oil Minister, Jabar al-Luaibi, said Iraq managed to increase its oil export capacity from its southern ports to 4.6 million bpd after adding a new floating terminal in the Gulf. 

Early Market Call - as of 9:17 AM EDT

WTI - Jan $57.72 up $1.03

RBOB - Jan $1.7223 up 2.23 cents

HO - Jan $1.9324 up 3.54 cents

View the Sprague Refined Products Market Watch Report in a downloadable pdf format.

Click to view more online:
View market updates
View our refined products glossary
Go to SpraguePORT online
Natural Gas

Thursday, December 7th saw the front-month NYMEX Natural Gas Futures Contracts open at $2.833, nine cents below Wednesday’s closing price of $2.922.  Trailing lower overnight as the market prepared for a bearish storage report, the contract fell to the $2.78 level ahead of the 10:30AM publication.  Dipping lower to $2.766 as trader’s expectations were realized, prices fluctuated along $2.780 for the majority of the afternoon before slipping to a six-week intraday low of $2.759 ahead of 2:30PM. January closed lower on Thursday at $2.763.

The EIA Natural Gas Storage Report published on Thursday showed a 2 BCF injection storage for the week ended December 1st – slightly above than the market estimate of 0 BCF.  Total working gas in storage was reported as 3,695 BCF; 6.7% below this time last year and 1.0% below the five-year average.

This morning in Globex, WTI Crude was up 97 cents; Natural Gas was up three cents; Heating Oil was up three cents; and, Gasoline was up two cents.  

New York and New England basis values were lower for all seasons.  Additionally, cash prices were higher in New York and lower New England.

Natural Gas Glossary

For access to Sprague’s full Natural Gas Market Watch Report including commentary not posted here, please send your request to or call 1-855-466-2842.