Oil prices fall as another storm heads towards Gulf of Mexico


Oil prices have fallen as traders have remained cautious over a tropical storm Nate, which is advancing towards the Gulf of Mexico that may cause a further impact to normal operations. 

Brent crude LCOc1 fell 12 cents at $56.88 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 slipped 16 cents to $50.63, reported Reuters.  

The oil market also remained subdued due to the ongoing holiday period in China, one of the biggest consumers of crude oil.

According to the US National Hurricane Center, storm Nate is currently located off the coast of Nicaragua and could develop into a hurricane. 

"Storm Nate is currently located off the coast of Nicaragua and could develop into a hurricane."

It is heading towards the Gulf region that hosts several offshore oil platforms making up to nearly 17% of US output.

Companies including BP and Chevron are shutting down their production facilities in the region, while other operators such as Royal Dutch Shell and Anadarko Petroleum have suspended their operations to certain extent.

Exxon Mobil, Statoil and other producers have also removed all their staff from the platforms.

Phillips 66 also closed its 247,000bpd Alliance refinery located in Louisiana.

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, a fuel handling facility in the Gulf of Mexico, has suspended vessel offloading operations.