Crude prices rise on signs of drop in global inventories

Sep 23, 2017, 01:19
Crude prices rise on signs of drop in global inventories

Commercial crude inventories rose to 472.8 million barrels, up from 457.8 million barrels the week before Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Coast and knocked out more than a dozen major refineries, the Energy Department reported Wednesday. This comes on a news report that oil traders are emptying one of the world's largest crude storage facilities, located near the southernmost tip of Africa, as the physical market tightens amid booming demand and OPEC production cuts.

West Texas Intermediate for November delivery fell 8 cents to $50.61/bbl at 12:32 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oil advanced to the highest level since May after USA gasoline stockpiles plunged to a 22-month low and exports of crude and fuels surged. That is above the forecast for a rise of 2.4 million barrels by analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts. For the previous week to September 8, the USA government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a stockpile growth of 5.9 million barrels.

"Demand is clearly coming back, so there is a need for refining to come back online".

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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers are considering a range of options, including an extension of cuts, but it is premature to decide on what to do beyond the agreement's expiry in March, Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi told an energy conference on Tuesday.

On Nymex, October gasoline fell half a cent to $1.650 a gallon, as October heating oil traded at $1.798 a gallon, up 2.5 cents, or 1.4%.

Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico have pushed up crude inventories as some US refineries have been shut by flooding.

Moreover, even if this week's OPEC meeting ends on a high note and supports the argument that their cuts have been effective, any revival in prices will be short lived thanks to the unstoppable US shale industry, which rebounded from Hurricane Harvey far quicker than anyone had predicted. "For example, production and processing weakened due to Harvey hurricane in Mexico gulf and this led to Brent crude to rise up to $52 a barrel".

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OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, and other non-OPEC members such as Russian Federation pledged they will decrease their output to by 1.8 million barrels per day in 2017 up to next year.

The cuts have already been extended by nine months until the end of March 2018, over which time U.S. production has added 500,000 BPD.

"Exempt members Libya and Nigeria may be bought into the fold of the production cut deal".

Elsewhere, gasoline futures gained slipped 0.18% to $1.662 a gallon, while natural gas futures fwere steady at $3.123 per million British thermal units.

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