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Refined Products

Recap: The oil market continued to trend higher on Thursday as the market remained well supported by the large draw reported in crude stocks by the DOE on Wednesday.  The market also traded higher amid the fall in the dollar following the Federal Reserve's decision to leave short term rates unchanged.  The market, which posted a low of $45.52 in overnight trading, rallied to its high of $46.52 early in the session.  However, the market erased some of its gains following a Genscape report showing that crude stocks held in Cushing, Oklahoma in the week ending September 20th increased by over 213,000 barrels since Tuesday, September 13th.  The market traded in a mostly sideways trading pattern the rest of the session on reports that two days of talks in Vienna among OPEC delegates, including those from Saudi Arabia and Iran, had yielded no major breakthrough.  The WTI crude market settled up 98 cents at $46.32.  The Brent crude market settled up 82 cents at $47.65.  Meanwhile, the product markets also ended the session higher, with the RBOB market settling up 28 points at $1.4018 and the heating oil market settling up 2.52 cents at $1.4542.

Fundamental News: Genscape reported that crude oil stocks held in Cushing, Oklahoma in the week ending September 20th increased by 213,053 barrels from Tuesday, September 13th.  Stocks, however, fell by 87,099 barrels from Friday, September 16th. 

Qatar's Energy Minister and OPEC's President, Mohammed al-Sada, said talks between OPEC members in Algeria will be an informal meeting, in preparation for the next scheduled OPEC meeting on November 30th. 

Russian Deputy Energy Minister, Kirill Molodtsov, made a statement on Thursday saying Russia can "in theory" reduce its oil output by 5%, referring to a possible output freeze by major crude producers in a bid to stabilize global oil prices.  Meanwhile, Alexander Novak, Russia's Energy Minister, made a statement on Thursday that OPEC is not expected to discuss an idea for oil producing nations to cut output by 5% at a meeting this month.

Separately, the RIA news agency reported that Russia stated that its oil companies could cut output by up to 5%. 

According to OPEC officials and sources, OPEC ministers look ready to cut output for the first time in eight years.  Saudi Arabia and Iran are sending conciliatory signals that they want to work together, along with Russia which is involved in talks.  OPEC experts are trying to work out last minute details for an output limiting deal that would impress the market but also allow oil ministers to claim victories in their countries.  Saudi Arabian and Iranian OPEC officials are meeting in Vienna this week to try to figure out a possible output deal.

Iraq's OPEC Governor, Falah Al-Amri, said now is the right time for OPEC to reach an agreement on oil production and added that crude prices may fall if its members fail to take a decision when they meet next week in Algiers.  Separately, Iraq's Oil Minister, Jabar Ali al-Luaibi, said Iraq will support a production ceiling next week at the informal meeting of oil producers.  However, he stated that Iraq intends to defend its share of output of 4.75 million-5 million bpd.   

US Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast gasoline stocks saw large moves last week due to Colonial Pipeline's Line 1 shut in.  The EIA showed a record build of 4.765 million barrels at the origin of the pipeline and a record draw of 8.5 million barrels at the end of it.  With Gulf Coast gasoline access cut off in the Northeast, Atlantic Coast market players have cut into inventories.  Conversely, product intended for shipment to the Northeast has backed up in the Gulf.  

Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT
WTI - Nov $46.02, down 30 cents
RBOB - Oct $1..3807, down 2.11 cents
HO - Oct $1.4468, down 74 points 

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Natural Gas

Thursday, September 22nd, saw the front-month NYMEX Natural Gas Futures Contracts open at $3.061, slightly above Wednesday’s closing price of $3.057.  Posting a modest ascent through the early morning, prices rose to the intraday high of $3.074 by 10:20AM.  A larger-than-expected storage injection then sank any bullish moment as the contract dropped to $3.012.  Trading within a three-cent range over the subsequent two hours, a final push near 12:30PM to peak above $3.030 ultimately gave way as October sank to the intraday low of $2.986 at 2:20PM, closing lower on Thursday at $2.990.

The EIA Natural Gas Storage Report published on Thursday showed a 52 BCF injection to storage for the week ended September 16th – above the market estimate of 48 BCF.  Total working gas in storage was reported as 3,551 BCF, 4.1% above this time last year and 8.2% above the five-year average.

This morning in Globex, WTI Crude was down 10 cents; Natural Gas was down two cents; Heating Oil was up one cent; and; Gasoline was down one cent.  Additionally, cash prices were lower in New York and New England.

Natural Gas Glossary

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