OPEC Crude Basket Increases

The latest OPEC bulletin shows that the daily basket price used by the organization gained 11 cents from the previous day’s crude price per barrel of $113.36, to $113.47.

The following comprise the new OPEC Reference Basket (ORB) of crudes:

Algeria’s Saharan Blend, Angola’s Girassol, Ecuador’s Oriente, Islamic Republic of Iran’s Iran Heavy, Iraq’s Basra Light, Kuwait’s Kuwait Export, Libya’s Es Sider, Nigeria’s Bonny Light, Qatar’s Qatar Marine, Saudi Arabia’s Arab Light, UAE’s Murban and Venezuela’s Merey.

In the meantime, the oil price per barrel, in recent Asian trading, moved beyond $99 following an announcement of the Federal Reserve of a plan to boost the economy of the United States and after heightened supply concerns caused by Middle Eastern tensions.

In late afternoon electronic trading, the U.S. benchmark oil price per barrel for delivery in October was $99.71, a $1.40 rise from the previous trading day’s closing rate. Meanwhile, in London’s ICE Futures Exchange, the Brent crude oil prices was $117.49, a gain of $1.61 cents.

The Fed announced that it will purchase mortgaged-back securities each month worth $40 billion for an indefinite period. The purpose of the purchase is to push the long-term rates of interest to boost spending and borrowing.

The Fed also announced a plan to maintain very low levels of short term interest rates until the middle of 2015 in an attempt to strengthen the very weak economy in an attempt to cut high levels of unemployment.

Expectations of Fed action, and that of the government of China and the European Central Bank, have compensated for bad economic reports and maintained crude oil prices in a narrow range over the last several weeks.

Traders recently watched the growing Middle Eastern unrest very closely after demonstrators stormed the U.S. consulate in the capital of Yemen. Ongoing tensions have been happening all over the world, notably in Libya, where the U.S. ambassador was murdered, and Cairo, Egypt.

Elsewhere in the energy markets, the price of wholesale gasoline was 5.6 cents higher, at $3.018 a gallon. The cost of heating oil gained 4.1 cents to $3.252 per gallon. Natural gas prices dropped 1.1 cents to $3.048 for every 1,000 cubic feet.