Oil prices rise as global inventories decline on stronger than expected demand

Randolph Lopez
September 15, 2017

"Impact of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season continues to be seen in today's report with a build observed in the commercial crude stockpile and drawdowns in refined products", said Abhishek Kumar, Senior Energy Analyst at Interfax Energy's Global Gas Analytics in London.

US crude traded up 70 cents a barrel or 1.47 percent, by 11:13 a.m. EDT (1514 GMT). "The focus now shifts to the post-Harvey scenario", he said.

"Based on recent bets made by investors, expectations are that markets are tightening and that prices will rise, albeit very modestly", the IEA, which coordinates energy policies in industrialised nations, said in its monthly report.

Brent crude, the global benchmark futures traded 0.7 per cent higher at $54.65 per barrel at the time of writing. As of 2:00 p.m. EDT Tuesday, the U.S. Energy Department said four refineries in the Gulf Coast were still closed because of issues associated with Harvey, representing about 4 percent of the total U.S. refining capacity.

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The U.S. dollar, meanwhile, has declined steadily and, when the value of the greenback falls, commodity prices increase because more dollars are required to purchase the same quantity as when the value was higher.

Unprecedented flooding from the Category 4 storm that slammed into the state's coast last week, sending gasoline prices surging as oil refineries shut, may also set a record for rainfall in the contiguous USA, the weather service said Tuesday.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration Wednesday showed that domestic crude supplies climbed by 5.9 million barrels for the week ended September 8.

The global surplus of crude oil stocks over the five-year average fell to 190m barrels.

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