Oil Consolidates Gains

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange spot-month oil futures moved higher Monday morning as the market consolidates gains from last week, with traders focused on geopolitical risks, as well as U.S. and global oil supply data due out this week.

The risks from last week were related to tension in the oil-rich Middle East region. However, a terror-related attack occurred near Times Square in New York City during rush hour commute this morning, said police commissioner James O'Neill.

The explosion reported occurred at 7:20 AM ET in Ports Authority area at 47th Street and 8th Avenue, injuring the alleged attacker and three other people who were in the vicinity. The alleged attacker is now in police custody, said O'Neill. The improvised device was attached to a pipe-bomb, he added.

The market is going to focus on a raft of data this week on supply and demand, with the Energy Information Administration's Short-term Energy Outlook for December due out Tuesday (12/12). The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will release its Monthly Oil Market Report on Wednesday (12/13) and the International Energy Agency is set to issue its Oil Market Report on Thursday (12/14).

Last Friday, Houston-based oil services company Baker Hughes reported the U.S. oilrig count rose by two to 751 last week, up 253 from a year ago and up by one so far during the fourth quarter. The data showing the third consecutive weekly rise in the rig count pointed to a further increase in U.S. crude oil production.

EIA also last week reported U.S. crude oil production rose 25,000 bpd to a fresh 46-year high of 9.707 million bpd during the week-ended Dec. 1, although inventories were mixed.

Rising domestic production counters the 1.8 million bpd in ongoing oil production cuts by OPEC members and their 10 nonmember producer allies that are now scheduled to last through December 2018.

Goldman Sachs this morning said it expects non-OPEC production to rise by 550,000 bpd in the fourth quarter.

In early trade, the NYMEX January West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures contract was up 21cts to $57.57 bbl. ICE February Brent crude climbed 46cts to $63.86 bbl, off a $63.96 better than one-week spot high.

NYMEX January ULSD futures rose 1.39cts to $1.9427 gallon, moving near a $1.9466 better than one-week spot high. January RBOB futures edged up 0.44cts to $1.7210 gallon.

George Orwel can be reached at george.orwel@dtn.com