Oil prices down as traders determine US hurricanes impact


Oil prices have fallen slightly as the crude market continues to assess the impact of Hurricane Irma, while US refineries in the Gulf region continue to resume operations after Hurricane Harvey. 

Brent crude LCOc1 fell 4 cents to $53.80 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 slipped 3 cents to $48.04, reported Reuters.

Most of the refineries have restarted production after remaining closed for more than two weeks when Hurricane Harvey struck the country’s Gulf coast.

Last Sunday, Florida was hit by Hurricane Irma but it continues to lose its force and has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

According to a Reuters poll, crude stocks in the country are expected to increase following the impact of Harvey but product stockpiles may decrease. 

CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner was quoted by the news agency as saying: “The market is looking for a significant build in oil inventories.

"The market is looking for a significant build in oil inventories."

"That’s not surprising given the disruption of refineries as consequences of hurricanes, so I guess there’s a bit of caution here."

Earlier, the Saudi Arabian Energy Minister held discussions with his Venezuelan, Kazakhstan counterparts for a possible extension of the supply cut deal beyond March next year.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members along with other key producers decided to reduce production by around 1.8 million barrels per day to the global oil glut and rebalance price levels.

The deal started in January and is currently scheduled to end in March 2018.


Image: An oil platform. Photo: courtesy of Damian Gadal/Flickr.