Oil gains as hurricane shuts US output, stockpiles fall

Reuters TOKYO | Updated on September 16, 2020 Published on September 16, 2020

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session, as a hurricane disrupted US offshore oil and gas production and an industry report showed a big drop in US crude stockpiles.

Brent crude was trading up 15 cents, or 0.4 per cent, at $40.68 a barrel by 0055 GMT, while US crude gained 18 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $38.46 a barrel. Both contracts rose by more than 2 per cent on Tuesday.

More than 25 per cent of US offshore oil and gas output was shut and export ports were closed on Tuesday as Hurricane Sally sat just off the US Gulf Coast.

“Our current estimate for the total outage associated with the Sally weather system is between 3 million and 6 million barrels of oil over approximately 11 days,” Rystad Energy said in a note.

That is likely to help reduce stockpiles although refineries were also shut down, cutting demand for oil.

US crude oil inventories fell by 9.5 million barrels last week, although gasoline inventories increased, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.

Analysts had expected oil stocks to increase by 1.3 million barrels. Official data on US stockpiles is due out later on Wednesday and often conflicts with the industry figures.

Meanwhile, oil producers and traders are painting a bleak picture for a recovery in fuel demand globally as the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, hammering economies.

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Published on September 16, 2020
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