United States dollar, not OPEC, driving markets, Russian oil boss says

Ivan Schwartz
September 13, 2017

The EIA reported that refinery runs last week averaged 14.5 million barrels of crude, a decline from 17.7 million bpd the week before, when the authority also reported a 5.4-million-barrel draw in crude oil inventories.

The four-week average for total US crude oil production is 9.3 million barrels per day, up 9.5 percent from the same period past year.

The U.S. lost more than 20% of its refining capacity in the days after Harvey (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/more-refineries-come-off-line-in-harveys-wake-2017-08-30), though many refineries have since started to come back online.

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.

The deal agreed late previous year to reduce output by about 1.8 million bpd until March 2018 helped to keep prices as high as $58 a barrel in January, but they have since sagged as global stocks have not fallen as quickly as expected.

Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the United States, were up 24 cents at $54.73 a barrel, just shy of their Friday peak of $54.79 a barrel, their highest level since April.

While refineries, pipelines and offshore platforms resume operations after Harvey, another Atlantic hurricane, known as Irma, is approaching the U.S. coast and is set to hit Florida tomorrow.

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Additionally, the EIA report said commercial US inventories rose 4.6 million barrels the week-ending September 1, to 462.35 million barrels.

Many U.S. Gulf Coast refineries were restarting, including the largest U.S. refinery.

Analysts believe Irma is not a direct threat to oil production or refining facilities.

The US Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said that roughly 13.5 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was also shut in on Aug.31.

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. It is poised for a weekly loss of more than 5%, after rising 4.9% last week 4.9% amid fears of a gasoline shortage in America (http://business.gasbuddy.com/hurricane-irma-live-updates-fuel-availability-station-outages/).

Among refined products, October gasoline was down less than half a cent at $1.660 a gallon.

Harvey has been a real wrench in the oil market, creating volatility and big intraday swings.

Other reports by GizPress

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