Oil edges up as OPEC output falls, offsets hurricane concerns

News of the talks on Sunday helped offset downward pressure on oil prices amid worries that energy demand would be hit hard by Hurricane Irma and its aftermath. Irma has softened to a tropical depression as it moves north after dumping heavy rain across Florida and cutting power to millions of people.

West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark for the price of oil, took an erratic turn in early trading to lose 0.12 percent from the previous close to $48.01 per barrel.

Vanguard survey of crude oil markets showed that the price of Brent which is usually used to benchmark the prices of other crudes stood at $54.30 per barrel yesterday.

And U.S. export terminals were badly affected by the storm which cut crude exports to just 153,000 barrels per day in the week ending on Sept.1 compared with 902,000 bpd the week before.

Saudi Arabia energy ministry said Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih spoke to counterparts in Venezuela and Kazakhstan at the weekend about extending the oil output cut pact past the end of March 2018 to the end of June.

The two hurricanes are expected to inflict a "bearish shock" on oil balances in September, denting global demand by 900,000 bpd and supply by about 300,000 bpd, Goldman said. It's likely that crude oil prices will make their third attempt and retest leading towards $ 47.50.

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"It is clear that the rebalancing process is under way", he said.

Aside from total US crude stockpiles, oil centered in the Cushing, Oklahoma hub, which stores supply meant for delivery against WTI contracts, has abeen rising.

OPEC and its partners chose to extend its production cuts till March 2018 in Vienna on May 25, as the oil cartel and its allies step up their attempt to end a three-year supply glut that has savaged crude prices and the global energy industry.

The hurricanes have rattled energy markets, with Irma shutting Florida fuel stations and ports and Harvey earlier halting about one-quarter of the nation's refining capacity.

"Over the next two to three weeks, the EIA inventory numbers will be rather sloppy because you have production disrupted, refineries going offline and online", he said, noting that OPEC figures are a better signal of market stabilization, "That's why you have to look out further".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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