For oil, bigger ill Harvey, not Irma

For oil, bigger ill Harvey, not Irma

The U.S. benchmark. "That's not surprising given the disruption of refineries as consequences of hurricanes so I guess there's a bit of caution here".

Oil prices have been experiencing some downward trend during the last two weeks as commerce and energy demand in the US were hit by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, two of the most powerful storms in a century.

The Saudi Energy Ministry said that Bozumbayev, who met with Falih on Sunday, said that despite the gradual ramp up of the Kashagan field this year, "Kazakhstan was able, through reducing production in other fields in August, to achieve more than full conformity" with its output cut target.

"Reports of an extension of the current production cut agreement continued to swirl around the market", ANZ bank said in a note.

The data will give traders a better picture of whether a global rebalancing is taking place in the oil market.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) shed 5 cents, or around 0.1%, to $48.02 a barrel by 3:15AM ET (0715GMT). Though US production growth may be starting to slow down, the combined effect of incremental barrels from the country's shale producers over the past nine months, along with a boost in supplies from Libya and Nigeria in recent months, as these OPEC members remain exempt from production cuts, continues to countervail a big portion of the OPEC/non-OPEC cuts.

More news: Irma floods northeast Florida, leaves millions without power

Hurricane Irma knocked out power to over 7.3 million in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama, according to state officials and utilities on Monday.

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russian Federation have pledged to reduce crude output by about 1.8 million barrels a day through March to trim global oil inventories and buttress prices. That has raised concerns about demand, as storms tend to cut down on driving, particularly as many cars have been destroyed. Some units are now restarting after shutdowns ahead of or during the earlier storm.

But the oversupply of US crude persists, causing a recent widening in the WTI/Brent spread, said James Williams, president of energy consultant WTRG Economics.

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Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih agreed with his Venezuelan and Kazakh counterparts to leave all options open in their push to re-balance world oil markets, including the possible extension of output cuts beyond next March.

On Monday, Falih and his United Arab Emirates counterpart also agreed to consider an extension beyond March.

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