Crude Oil Prices Little Changed, Dollar Recovery Saps Support

Gold Daily

More recently Hurricane Irma left more than seven million homes without electricity in Florida. It is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm over northern Florida or southern Georgia later on Monday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was 17 cents higher at $48.24 a barrel.

London Brent crude for November delivery was up 30 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $54.08, having settled down 1.3 percent.

Hurricane Harvey disrupted refinery production in Texas last month-one reason us crude futures have been lower than the global benchmark.

Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday.

The week will also see key monthly reports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties and the International Energy Agency to assess global oil supply and demand levels.

Even so, US crude stockpiles are likely to build in the next few weeks as refiners try to catch up with the backlog of oil stranded during the storms of the past two weeks, analysts said.

The price move higher also "reflects a little more confidence that the refiners are recovering", said James Williams, president of energy researcher WTRG Economics near Russellville Still, the oil market may continue to chop around as there is some lingering uncertainty as to how much crude is actually being processed by these refiners, he said.

A Reuters poll of six analysts taken ahead of inventory reports forecast that crude stocks likely rose by 2.3 million barrels in the week ended September 8. "Due to the demand-focused impact of Irma, we find that, by the end of September, gasoline and distillate stocks respectively are only -8 million barrels and -13 million barrels lower respectively than they otherwise would have been".

Saudi Arabia-OPEC's largest member and the world's biggest crude exporter-has been debating whether to extend the cartel's production cutting deal after it expires next year. That is "because Texas has twice the oil consumption per capita of Florida given the significant concentration of refining and petrochemical capacity on the U.S. Gulf Coast", they said.

"Over the next two to three weeks, the EIA inventory numbers will be rather sloppy because you have production disrupted, refineries going offline and online", he said, noting that OPEC figures are a better signal of market stabilization, "That's why you have to look out further".

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