Oil prices rise amid Gulf of Mexico storm, Middle East tensions
Oil prices rise amid Gulf of Mexico storm, Middle East tensions
Oil slips on poor Opec demand forecast
13 July, 2019, 06:58
Oil futures hit a six-week high on Thursday as oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated ahead of a storm, while an incident with a British tanker in the Middle East highlighted ongoing tensions in the region.
Oil companies in the United States have so far evacuated nearly 200 offshore platforms ahead of the storm, including major oil producers Shell, BP, BHP, Exxon, and more, for a loss of roughly a million barrels of oil per day.
Crude oil and copper futures jumped on Wednesday following a more dovish than expected semiannual testimony from the head of the USA central bank before Congress, with the former also boosted by the approach of a tropical storm to the Louisiana coast.
US oil futures for August delivery finished 4.5 percent higher at 60.43 dollars a barrel, notching a seven-week high, according to Refinitiv. A fourth weekly draw in American stockpiles and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's signal the central bank is preparing to cut interest rates added to the bullishness.
West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery gained 6 cents to US$60.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 8:53 a.m.in New York.
USA output is rising again after a brief drop from record levels, according to the EIA.
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Based on the first forecasts for world oil demand and non-OPEC supply for 2020, demand for OPEC crude for 2020 is projected at 29.3 mb/d, 1.3 mb/d lower than the 2019 level, said the report for July.
"Oil markets are being supported by factors peculiar to the summertime - hurricanes and high gasoline demand", said Satoru Yoshida, a commodities analyst at Rakuten Securities Inc.in Tokyo.
At last count, it had already cut 32% of the oil production in the Gulf and 18% of natural gas output. The contract closed at the highest level since May 22 on Wednesday.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 settled at $67.01 a barrel, up $2.85, or 4.44 percent. Chevron said Tuesday it began closing five of its platforms and will start moving out all associated personnel.
According to the British government, three Iranian vessels tried to block the passage of a British ship run by BP through the Strait of Hormuz.
Data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday showed United States crude inventories fell by 8.1 million barrels in the week to July 5 to 461.4 million, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 3.1 million barrels. That in comparison with the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey for a 2.9 million-barrel decline.
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