February 24, 2018

US Crude Settles Down Ahead Of API Data

31 August 2017, 01:40 | Frank Carlson

Gene J. Puskar Associated Press

Fuel Economy Stay the Course-1

Brent crude traded 54 cents lower at $51.46 a barrel.

"Gas prices are up in many places and motorists should be gearing up for more in the coming weeks, thanks to Hurricane Harvey inundating significant refineries along the Texas coastline, leading to closures and tilting the delicate balance of supply and demand", said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

But global oil prices have continued to fall.

Gasoline rose still higher post-settlement, after sources told Reuters that Motiva was shuttering the largest USA refinery.

The Energy Information Administration reported a bigger-than-expected weekly drop in USA crude supplies, but gasoline stockpiles were flat and traders expect next week's government report to reveal the impact of Hurricane Harvey-related crude production and refinery shutdowns.

Refineries with output of at least 4.4 million barrels per day (bpd) were offline on Tuesday, representing almost 24 percent of USA production, according to Reuters estimates and company reports.

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US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 30 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $46.87 a barrel, after falling more than 2 percent in the previous session.

U.S. petrol futures were up 5.5 percent at $1.8810 a gallon, having hit $1.9140, the highest since July 2015.

Preparing for more rain and floods, Total cut production in half at its 225,500 bpd refinery, also in Port Arthur. Prices earlier climbed to the most since July 31, 2015, at $1.842. Onshore, numerous nation's refineries remain offline because of heavy flooding in and around the Houston area. Tropical Storm Harvey, which has been downgraded from a hurricane, hit oil refiners harder than crude producers.

Previously, the American Petroleum Institute (API) announced a fall of 5.780 million barrels in USA crude stocks in the last week.

Yet crude remains in ample supply, resulting in low prices, with Jefferies bank saying it is lowering its fourth-quarter Brent oil price estimates to $55 a barrel from $60 and its 2018 forecast to $57 from $64.

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