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Energy Summary for Oct. 19, 2022

2022-10-19 20:54 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery added $2.74 to $85.55 on the New York Merc, while Brent for December added $2.38 to $92.41 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $25.75 to WTI, up from a discount of $26.50. Natural gas for November lost 29 cents to $5.46. The TSX energy index added 7.12 points to close at 243.39.

Oil prices headed higher as traders mulled the latest announcement from the White House about the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). As part of the effort to respond to what the U.S. government has dubbed "Putin's price hike at the pump" -- a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine, pushing fuel prices toward record highs -- the U.S. government is tapping the SPR for another 15 million barrels. It issued the notice of sale today for delivery in December.

"This sale will complete the historic, 180-million-barrel drawdown the President announced in the spring," continued the statement from the White House. No doubt with an eye on the imminent midterm elections, which are less than three weeks away, the statement went on to applaud the SPR sales for helping to "stabilize the crude oil markets and reduce prices at the pump." Hammering it home was a declaration that U.S. President Joe Biden stands "ready to move forward with significant SPR sales this winter, if needed," as part of his "commit[ment] to doing everything in his power to ... address the supply crunch and lower costs."

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