Oil Prices Dip, Due to US hurricane

Oil prices edged down in early Asian trading on Tuesday, as traders weighed up the dampening effect on demand of Hurricane Irma versus refinery restarts following Hurricane Harvey which should cause more crude oil processing.

International benchmark Brent crude was down 8 cents, or 0.2 per cent, at $53.76 per barrel by 0108 GMT from the last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $48.04 a cone.

U.S. refineries, for example, greatest U.S. refinery Motiva Enterprises , have started to come back on line. Motiva restarted production on Monday after being shut for about two weeks as Hurricane Harvey torn through the U.S. Gulf shore.

On Harvey’s heels, Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida on Sunday, leaving greater than 7.4 million homes and businesses without power, but has since been downgraded into a tropical storm.

U.S. crude inventories likely rose last week, even while refined product stockpiles were forecast to have declined, a preliminary Reuters poll showed.

Six analysts surfaced ahead of inventory reports by the industry category American Petroleum Institute (API) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated, normally, that crude stocks likely climbed 2.3 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 8.

Amid persistent glut concerns, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih had discussions with his Venezuelan, Kazakh counterparts about the possibility of extending distribution cuts beyond March 2018.

“Reports of the expansion of this existing production cut agreement continued to swirl across the marketplace,” ANZ bank said in an email.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), where Saudi Arabia may be the de facto leader, and also other manufacturers including Russia, consented to curb their own output by around 1.8 million barrels per day until next March.

OPEC’s secretary general Mohammad Barkindo said on Monday the distribution reduction bargain has been expected to help the international petroleum market re-balance and robust demand could further reduce oil stocks.

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