Oil prices fall as another hurricane set to hit Caribbean coast


Oil prices have slipped due to a lack of crude demand as several US refineries in the Gulf coast continue to remain closed after the impact of Hurricane Harvey and growing concern over Hurricane Irma, which is currently advancing towards the Caribbean and Florida coast.  

Brent crude futures dropped 19 cents to $53.19 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading 8 cents lower at $48.58, reported Reuters.

Refineries forming 20% of the country’s daily refining capacity are still closed, although the majority are in the process of resuming operations.

Analysts said that it can take weeks for normalisation of US petroleum industry, which may again be affected as Irma is anticipated to hit Florida. 

"With another hurricane threatening to hit the US coast, traders still remain cautious."

ANZ bank was quoted by the news agency as saying: “With another hurricane threatening to hit the US coast, traders still remain cautious.”

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Irma is a category five hurricane, with maximum sustained winds estimated to be nearly 295km/h.

In the long-term, the oil market is expected to remain oversupplied due to high production from Russia, the Middle East, and North America.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Brent crude will be within the range of $45 to $55 a barrel next year.