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USA crude rises as refineries return; gasoline slumps to pre-Harvey levels

06 September 2017

That means demand for crude at the refineries will increase, while the shortage that has buoyed gasoline prices is likely to ease.

ConocoPhillips said its oil production in the Eagle Ford shale region was expected to reach 80 percent of its pre-storm level of 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by Monday evening, while the number of U.S. Gulf oil and gas production platforms with evacuated personnel after Hurricane Harvey dropped to 14, down from 30, according to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $47.42 barrel at 0411 GMT, 13 cents above their last settlement. Global benchmark Brent crude was trading at $52.75, per barrel, down by 0.21 per cent when the markets closed on Friday. Prices for refined products like gasoline have jumped.

Meanwhile, gasoline for October RBV7, -3.53% slid 7 cents, or 4%, to $1.68 a gallon, after rallying last week when Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas and Louisiana coast and shut down around 25% of US refining capacity due to severe flooding. Colonial Pipeline, the largest American fuel system, was restarting the distillates segment of its pipeline from Texas to New Jersey.

Refineries accounting for one quarter of U.S. capacity were shut down, imports and exports of both oil and products nearly came to a halt as ports closed due to the devastating storm that caused havoc across Texas last week. "In the broader scheme of things, it appears that so far the energy industry was spared major damages to assets and infrastructure", analysts at JBC Energy said.

Hernandez said there was no time frame for removing the drydock debris from the main stem of the channel, which is key to moving crude oil to refineries.

And while the USA government tapped its strategic oil reserves for the first time in five years last week, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the global energy watchdog still sees no need for a coordinated international release of oil stocks after Harvey.

Traders said that this price rise was a result of crude production outages following Hurricane Harvey. Pyongyang said it had tested an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, prompting the threat of a massive military response from the United States if it or its allies were threatened.

Oil markets were volatile on Monday, with United States crude rising on production shutdowns while worldwide Brent was pulled down by a flight into gold futures following a powerful North Korean nuclear test explosion.

USA crude rises as refineries return; gasoline slumps to pre-Harvey levels