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Refined Products

Recap:  Disruptions to Libya's oil supply, and suggestions that an extension of OPEC's agreement to cut output was likely, combined to kindle a rise in oil futures. Oil futures settled at their highest level in a week, with May WTI finishing at $48.37 a barrel, up 64 cents, or 1.34%, while May Brent closed at $51.33 a barrel, up 58 cents, or 1.14%.

May WTI continued to bounce around the 10-day moving average, while holding below resistance set by the 200-day moving average. With moving oscillators turning to the upside, prompting additional moves higher. With this in mind, we would look for an attempt to trade above the 200-day moving average, currently set at $48.72. Thought this level, resistance is set at $49.50. support remains at $47.

April RBOB rose 1.6 cents, or 1%, to $1.635 a gallon, while April heating oil was  up by 1.4 cents, or 1%, to $1.517 a gallon.

Fundamental News:  Bloomberg reported that crude oil stocks held in Cushing, Oklahoma are estimated to have increased by 1 million barrels in the week ending March 24th to 68.9 million barrels.

Iran's Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said extending the OPEC and non-OPEC agreement is likely but time is required in order to evaluate the decision.  Iran's current oil production stands close to 3.8 million bpd.  Separately, Iran and Russia pledged to continue cooperation in oil output cuts to stabilize the global energy market, according to statement from Iran's President, Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.    

A source at Libya's National Oil Corp said production at the western Libyan fields of Sharara and Wafa has been blocked by armed factions, reducing output by 252,000 bpd.  The shutdown at Sharara, which had been producing about 220,000 bpd, began on Monday and the shutdown at Wafa on Sunday.  Libya's NOC declared force majeure on loadings from the Wafa oilfield.

The UAE's Energy Minister, Suhail Al-Mazrouei, said the country expects oil inventories to fall in the second half of the year on demand.  He said the decline in inventories will be reflected in oil prices.  The UAE is cutting its output in March by about 200,000 bpd due to maintenance.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co said it had informed customers of cuts in crude allocations for May, in line with the OPEC agreement to limit oil supplies.  Both Murban and Das crude grades will be reduced by 7%.

Azeri Energy Ministry said the country is ready to cut output further if OPEC agrees to extend the cuts into the second half of the year.  Azerbaijan agreed in December to cut its daily output by 35,000 bpd but has cut its output by 52,700 bpd in February to 776,400 bpd in February.

Kazakhstan's Energy Minister, Kanat Bozumbayev, said it was too early to say whether the global OPEC and non-OPEC oil output cut would be extended and whether the country would also prolong its commitments.

Nigeria's crude oil experts are expected to increase to 1.66 million bpd in May from 1.61 million bpd in April.

S&P Global Platts trade flow software, cFlow, reported that about 310,000 metric tons of distillates have set sail from the US Gulf Coast for arrival in Europe in April.

IHS data showed that crude and refined product shipments from the US Gulf increased to 4.26 million metric tons on 104 ships in the week ending March 23rd.  It is up 9% from the previous week's 3.91 million metric tons on 100 ships. 

Early Market Call - as of 9:15 AM EDT

WTI - May $48.48 up 11 cents

RBOB - Apr $ 1.6448 up 97 points

HO - Apr $1.5257 up 90 points

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Natural Gas

Tuesday, March 28th, saw the front-month NYMEX Natural Gas Futures Contracts open at $3.020, three cents below Monday’s closing price of $3.052.  Launching from the intraday low of $3.019, prices climbed as high as $3.075 by 10:00AM.  Losing ground as the market stabilized near the $3.06 level, the contract mounted a modest ascent near midday which persisted into the afternoon.  Reclaiming Monday’s losses and eyeing to today’s settlement, April closed higher on Tuesday at $3.096.

This morning in Globex, WTI Crude was up 23 cents; Natural Gas was up three cents; Heating Oil was up one cent; and, Gasoline was up one cent.  Additionally, cash prices were higher in New York and New England.

Natural Gas Glossary

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