Will the Shutdown’s End Bring Lower Oil Prices?


The Energy Information Administration on Tuesday released its weekly reports on the status of various liquid fuels in the United States, covering the week that ended October 11. The reports look at natural gas and petroleum, presenting data about the production, storage, and prices of the fuels.

Changes in the data can reflect natural variations, seasonal trends, long-term market effects, and current events in regions of the globe where liquid fuels are produced, processed, and sold. This week’s release was highlighted by tension over the partial U.S. government shutdown, which delayed the publication date of the reports, as well.

Working natural gas in storage — the volume readily available to the market — increased by 77 billion cubic feet in the week ended October 11 to 3,654 Bcf, according to EIA estimates. This is down by 115 Bcf from the same period last year but still above the five-year historical range.

Futures traded at $3.668 per mmBTU, below the $4 to $6 range within which producers can both earn a profit and compete with alternative fuels such as coal.