A boost for Libyan oil and the end to labor disputes in energy-rich Norway is pulling a premium from the price of oil, though analysts said storm damage in the U.S. Gulf and OPEC assessments could move the market later this week.
Hurricane Delta hit the U.S. Gulf Coast on Friday as a Category 3 storm, sidelining about 1.7 million barrels of oil in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The storm quickly lost strength after making landfall in southwestern Louisiana.
Analysts at London oil broker PVM said in an emailed note that, while devastating to a region still recovering from last month’s Hurricane Laura, the latest storm passed without causing severe damage to essential infrastructure. Nevertheless, Delta will likely show up as a draw on regional crude oil supplies when federal data are released on Wednesday, which would boost the price of oil.
Tom Fowler, a deputy editor for market intelligence firm Argus, told us from Houston that oil prices may be affected if Delta damaged the dense network of refineries in the area.
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“But this being the fall and the transition to winter gasoline being behind us, refineries offline tend to have less impact on markets,” he added.
U.S. refiners on Sept. 15 switched to making the winter blend of gasoline, which is cheaper to produce.
Crude oil prices drifted lower in Friday trading after labor disputes ended in Norway. A strike over wages threatened to sideline…