Wednesday, 20 September, 2017

Crude Oil Extends Monthly Low Ahead Of Inventories

Oil prices soften as market assesses hurricane damage Oil Prices Set To Rise as Supply-Demand Gap Closes Up
Debra Rodriguez | 31 August, 2017, 06:44

USA oil prices finished Wednesday with a loss (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-pulls-back-further-as-harvey-continues-to-weigh-2017-08-30), at their lowest level in more than four weeks. That gives the country a cushion when dealing with a disaster like Harvey.

Thankfully, gas price spikes after hurricanes tend to be fleeting.

The Motiva refinery is owned by Saudi Arabia.

The "slow moving nature of the storm will likely lead to these shutdowns continuing in coming days and may generate persistent damage as well", the analysts wrote.

"Historically, prices during this time are decreasing", she said.

The nation has huge stockpiles of gasoline and oil.

While gasoline spiked on the storm, demand for the motor fuel is set to decline over the next several weeks as the US summer driving season wanes and refineries begin seasonal maintenance, Hansen said. No major damage has been reported to oil rigs, and production is beginning to come back.

It would've been a much bigger issue a decade ago, when the Gulf accounted for almost 30% of the nation's oil production.

Refineries with output of 4.1 million barrels per day (bpd) were offline on Tuesday, representing 23 percent of USA production, Goldman Sachs said.

The global oil market is heavily dependent on the US Gulf Coast.

Normally, that would spark fears of a supply crunch and lift the price of oil. FGE Energy estimates that Harvey interrupted the production of about 380,000 barrels per day in the Gulf and 400,000 barrels inland.

If anything, the oil industry is grappling with too much supply because of shale.

Now, those high oil inventories are providing a helpful cushion in the aftermath of Harvey.

The impact of the storm overshadowed the latest weekly figures on USA supplies from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and a 360,000-bpd drop in Libya's output due to renewed unrest in the OPEC producer.

That means the USA has 61 percent more oil stockpiled than in the summer of 2008 before Hurricane Ike and 52 percent more than before Hurricane Rita in 2005. But MRs may get more work in Europe to bring gasoline cargoes to the US. Low oil prices made it more profitable for refiners to turn oil into gasoline, and they created even more than needed.

More good news: Gasoline markets aren't freaking out.

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