For one day at least, the price of both oil and natural gas was dictated by supply and demand.
The Energy Department said yesterday commercial crude oil inventories fell by 3.3 million barrels to 364.9 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 5. Natural gas inventories held in underground storage in the lower 48 states increased by 19 billion cubic feet to 3.840 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Nov. 5.
The report sent benchmark oil for December delivery up $1.09 to $87.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Natural gas prices, meanwhile, fell 16.4 cents to $4.046 per 1,000 cubic feet.
The amount of oil in storage remains above the average for this time of year, yet the price is now at its highest level since October 2008.
Natural gas prices had been dropping as supplies increased, though recently they’ve risen as the winter heating season approaches. Regular unleaded gasoline averaged $2.863 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA, Wright Express, and Oil Price Information Service, about 6 cents more than a week ago.