OIL DIPS EVEN AS US RIGS, REFINERS ARE SPARED OF STORM DAMAGE
Oil prices fell in early trade on Friday as a massive hurricane raced inland past the heart of the US oil industry in Louisiana and Texas, with a storm surge weaker than predicted, Sonali Paul reported for Reuters.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 16 cents, or 0.4%, to $42.85 a barrel as of 0014 GMT (8:14 a.m., Friday, August 28, 2020 in Manila), adding to overnight losses.
Brent crude futures for October, set to expire on Friday, fell 9 cents, or 0.2%, to $45.00 a barrel, while the more active November contract slipped 7 cents to $45.53.
Hurricane Laura hit Louisiana early Thursday with 150 mile-per-hour (240 kph) winds, damaging buildings, knocking down trees and cutting power to more than 650,000 people in Louisiana and Texas, but refineries were spared from feared massive flooding. “Unless there is any lasting damage to oil production infrastructure, it would not be a surprise to see oil trade down a bit after the storm as damage assessment continues,” AxiCorp market strategist Stephen Innes said in a note. US producers had shut 1.56 million barrels per day of crude output, or 83% of the Gulf of Mexico’s production, while nine refineries had shut around 2.9 million bpd (barrels per day) of capacity, or 15% of U.S. processing capacity, ahead of the storm.