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US Crude Rebounds As Oil Market Takes Hurricane Irma In Its Stride
July 23 2018, 05:53 | Irvin Gilbert
Opec and other producers including Russia pledged to reduce oil output by about 1.8 million barrels a day through March
Oil held gains near $48 a barrel as Hurricane Irma weakened further after moving inland and as Gulf Coast refining continued to recover following two strikes from Harvey. Irma made a landfall in Florida on Sunday and is barreling through the state to the northwest.
At around $54 per barrel, the price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, is up almost $7 per barrel from June 30, but still below its peak of just over $56 per barrel for the year.
Iran sold its light crude oil at $50.93 per barrel in the week ended on September 1, with seven cents decrease from its previous week, IRNA reported on Saturday.
Opec and other producers, including Russian Federation, have agreed to reduce output by about 1.8 million barrels per day until next March in a bid to reduce global oil inventories and support oil prices. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures edged down 0.17% to $47.99 a barrel.
OPEC has been looking to boost prices through production cuts amid a supply glut that has more than halved oil prices over the past two years.
A stronger dollar and uncertainty surrounding the impact of hurricane Irma put some downward pressure on oil prices, although with some reluctance to trade aggressively given the high degree of uncertainty and OPEC rhetoric provided net support.
Del Pino on Friday said global oil inventories remain too high and urged producers to look at exemptions granted to countries such as Libya and Nigeria and the effect of those exemptions on the market. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute will release its inventory data on Tuesday.
OPEC said inventories were falling and that an increase in the price of Brent crude for immediate delivery to a premium over that for later supplies, known as backwardation, raised hopes that a long-awaited market rebalancing was under way.
On average, analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expect the EIA to report a climb of 10.1 million barrels in crude supplies, along with declines in gasoline stocks of 4 million and distillate stocks of 300,000 barrels.
The market is also watching closely for US inventories data in the wake of recent storms. Some OPEC and non-OPEC ministers have been in discussions in recent days over their production cut strategy, with one of the options on the table being to extend the output restraint agreement beyond its current expiration at the end of March 2018.
Total OPEC oil production, meanwhile, was down for the first time since March.