Economy

United States oil price decline on rising inventories

United States oil price decline on rising inventories

Harvey's impact was also felt in oil production.

ANZ bank said on Thursday that USA crude prices should receive some support "as US refineries increase their oil demand as they recover from recent flooding".

Oil prices slid on Friday, with USA crude down more than 3 per cent on worries that commerce and energy demand in Florida and the Southeast would be hit hard as Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful storms in a century, drove toward the region.

US light crude oil CLc1 dropped 0.14 cents at $48.95 barrel.

"Hurricanes can have a lasting effect on refinery and industry demand", said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Meanwhile, Brent oil for November delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London dipped 15 cents, or about 0.3%, to $54.05 a barrel. The Energy Information Administration on Thursday reported (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-gains-ahead-of-expected-drop-in-gasoline-stockpiles-2017-09-07) that USA crude inventories rose 4.6 million barrels for the week ended September 1.

The US Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said that roughly 13.5 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was also shut in on Aug.31.

As refineries along the Gulf Coast slowly resume normal operations, there was no surprise in this week's EIA inventory report: a build of 4.6 million barrels of crude oil.

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But the slowdown in refining and output are expected to be temporary.

The capacity shutdowns have done global oil prices good and now news of more possible supply disruptions are supporting them, too.

That US crude oil inventories would increase in the wake of Hurricane Harvey was largely anticipated, with some saying as much as 40-60 million barrels could be added to inventory while shuttered refineries struggle to come back online.

"Irma looks like it will miss the key Gulf areas, and we're more anxious about shale", said Mark Watkins, regional investment manager at U.S. Bank.

"Imports (of oil) to the U.S. Gulf Coast fell to levels not seen since the 1990s", ANZ bank said.

Traders are saying it may take weeks for the USA petroleum industry to return to full capacity, ant that under the current conditions it was hard to identify fundamental market trends.

On Irma's heels, Hurricane Jose is heading for the Caribbean Leeward islands, which have just been devastated by Irma, with wind speeds of 120 miles per hour (195 km/h). It was anticipated to reach Florida by Sunday.

Hurricane Jose is heading for the Caribbean Leeward islands, which have just been devastated by Irma.


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