Oil prices improve over fall in rig count


Oil prices have improved over the reports of fall in US drilling activity and with the support of rising refinery production after the impact of hurricane Harvey.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 climbed 4 cents to $55.66 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 gained 10 cents to $49.99 per barrel, reported Reuters.

Oil refineries located across the Gulf region of the US continue to restart normal activity after remaining closed for nearly three weeks due to the impact of hurricane Harvey which was followed by hurricane Irma. 

Royal Dutch Shell’s Deer Park refinery in Texas was the last refinery to resume production. The facility is capable of processing up to 325,700bpd. 

"The facility is capable of processing up to 325,700bpd."

The positive demand forecasts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) also supported the oil market. 

Energy services company Baker Hughes said that energy firms in the country reduced seven oil rigs to 749 in the week ending 15 September.

Market analysts said that the impact of the recent hurricanes has complicated the process to identify long-lasting supply and demand fundamentals. 

Meanwhile, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission stated that hedge funds and other money managers have reduced their bullish bets on US crude futures and options in the week up to 12 September.