Oil prices remain steady as US crude stocks continue to fall
Oil prices have remained steady after rising in the previous sessions following another decline in the US crude stocks.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were trading at $52.58 per barrel, gaining $0.01, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 fell by $0.05 to $48.36 a barrel, reported Reuters.
A tropical storm, Harvey, is currently advancing towards the oil producing facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, which is anticipated to disrupt output and keep the market tightened for the next few days.
Energy consultancy Trifecta director Sukrit Vijayakar was quoted by the news agency as saying: “For the next few days, the US market is going to be focused on Texas as the tropical depression Harvey is expected to strengthen into a Category I hurricane by Friday.
“Operators in the area are already closing down platforms and evacuating workers as a precaution.”
Harvey is currently located nearly 705km southeast of Port Mansfield, Texas, US, and travelling at a speed of 65km/h.
Oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Anadarko Petroleum, and Exxon Mobil chose to close or curb oil and gas output at their facilities located in the Gulf.
Last week, US oil production touched 9.53 million barrels per day (bpd), the highest since July 2015.
However, the US Energy Information Administration stated that crude inventories and gasoline stocks in the country declined in the week ending 18 August.
Crude inventories decreased by 3.3 million barrels to 463.17 million barrels.
Image: An oil platform off the California Coast. Photo: courtesy of Damian Gadal via Flickr.