Oil prices slide in Harvey's wake as U.S. refineries notch slow recovery

Oil prices slide in Harvey's wake as U.S. refineries notch slow recovery

The value of the USA dollar is having more of an impact on oil markets than the OPEC effort to trim production, the head of Russian oil company Rosneft said.

Oil prices oscillated Monday morning, with US crude recovering a fraction of its losses from the last session and Brent trending downwards.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $49.15 barrel at 00606 GMT, 5 cents above their last settlement.

He added that if the hurricane drifts to the west side of the state, "then we start impacting natural gas and oil production off the coasts of Alabama and Louisiana".

While Hurricane Irma continues to pinwheel across the Southeast, Harvey is the storm that appears to be the most damaging to the market for crude oil because of the refineries and petrochemical plants that were in its path, the report said. American crude stockpiles rose by 4.58 million barrels last week, the first gain since June. November Brent crude, the global benchmark, lost 44 cents, or 0.8%, to $54.05 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, with prices up around 2.5% for the week. "Now the concern is that this may be a heavy hurricane season with the risk of substantial disruptions to crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico".

Harry Tchilinguirian, global head of commodity markets at BNP Paribas, said the market was still determining the extent of the damage of Hurricane Harvey on oil refineries, while anticipating the impact of Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the USA over the weekend. As of Sunday afternoon, there were still five refineries shut down, representing about 5.8 percent of the total US refining capacity.

More news: Asia stocks mostly rise as Irma and North Korea worries fade

U.S. oil production dropped by nearly 8 percent, from 9.5 million barrels per day to 8.8 million bpd, according to the report of the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The nation's largest refinery, the Motiva plant in Port Arthur, is running at half capacity. While parties to the deal hope the oil market will eventually rebalance, growing oil production in the USA will prolong this period, he noted. Support at $47.07 was previous resistance that held price action lower on two attempts in July.

Next week, the market will see monthly reports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Energy Agency on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Among refined products, Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock-the benchmark gasoline contract-was down 0.8%, at $1.65 a gallon.

Analysts at consultancy JBC Energy said those talks should prove supportive for crude prices.

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