Oil Weakens on Irma Fears
Oil Weakens on Irma Fears

Oil Weakens on Irma Fears

Oil Weakens on Irma Fears

Oil prices edged lower on Monday on concerns that Hurricane Irma’s pounding of heavily populated areas of Florida could dent oil demand in the world’s top oil consuming nation.
Brent crude oil futures for November delivery were down 33 cents at $53.45 a barrel while benchmark US West Texas intermediate crude advanced by 22 cents to $47.70, CNBC reported.
Losses were capped by weekend talks between Saudi Arabia’s oil minister and counterparts over a possible extension to a pact to cut global oil supplies beyond next March.
Hurricane Irma knocked out power to nearly four million Florida homes and businesses on Sunday after millions were told to evacuate ahead of the storm.
“We believe that Irma will have a negative impact on oil demand but not on oil production or processing,” Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note.
Irma is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm over northern Florida or southern Georgia later on Monday. It comes on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, which struck the US oil hub of Texas two weeks ago, knocking out a quarter of the nation’s refineries, many of which are now restarting operations.
The two hurricanes are expected to inflict a “bearish shock” on oil balances in September of about 600,000 barrels per day, the analysts said.
The longer-term focus, however, was on discussions over a possible extension to the 15-month production pact between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers, including Russia and Kazakhstan.
The deal aims to curb an oil supply glut that has weighed on crude prices for more than three years.
The deal agreed late last year to reduce output by about 1.8 million bpd until March 2018 helped keep prices as high as $58 a barrel in January, but they have since sagged as global stocks have not fallen as quickly as expected.
Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih met his Venezuelan and Kazakh counterparts at the weekend to discuss an extension of the deal by at least three months, the Saudi Energy Ministry said.
Venezuela Energy Minister Eulogio del Pino said on Friday global oil inventories remain too high and urged producers to look at exemptions granted to countries such as Libya and Nigeria and their effect on the market.


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