US Crude Settles Down Ahead Of API Data

31 August, 2017, 01:43 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • A Marathon Petroleum refinery in Texas. Hurricane Harvey's aftermath flooding has shut many oil facilities. Carter Smith  Bloomberg

Flooding from tropical storm Harvey caused ongoing large-scale USA refinery outages on Tuesday, while crude prices rose on the back of supply disruptions in Colombia and Libya.

But analysts said prices are expected to remain subdued as the shutdown of oil refineries would lead to higher crude stockpiles.

"Rising US production, domestic refinery blending constraints, and the end of (the) driving season combined to depress WTI", ING bank said.

USA gasoline futures jumped 4 percent to settle at 1.7833, the highest in more than two years.

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New York, Aug 29 (Reuters) - U.S. gasoline futures jumped 4 percent while crude prices were mixed on Tuesday after a hurricane shut down more than 19 percent of the country's refining capacity, curbing fuel production and further bloating crude inventories.

Tropical Storm Harvey, which has now been downgraded from a hurricane, hit oil refiners harder than crude producers.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.35 per barrel at 0644 GMT, down 9 cents from their last close. The discount for U.S. WTI versus Brent reached $5.92 a barrel on Tuesday, its widest in more than two years.

Preparing for more rain and floods, Total cut production in half at its 225,500 bpd refinery, also in Port Arthur. But MRs may get more work in Europe to bring gasoline cargoes to the US.

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Outside of the immediate impact from Harvey, last week saw another decline in USA exploration and production activity.

Over the last ten weeks, according to the API, crude oil inventories in the United States have shed more than 46 million barrels.

Crude markets were also looking at disruptions in Libya and Colombia.

"As of August 29, we estimate USA refining production offline was 4.1 million barrels per day (bpd); this represents 23 percent of total USA refining production", Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients.

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Yet crude remains in ample supply, resulting in low prices, with Jefferies bank saying it is lowering its fourth-quarter Brent oil price estimates to $55 a barrel from $60 and its 2018 forecast to $57 from $64.

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