Oil prices rise as IEA sees higher demand, shrinking inventories

15 September, 2017, 00:55 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • 6 2017 shows the Hotel Mercure in Marigot near the Bay of Nettle on the French Collectivity of Saint Martin during the passage of Hurricane Irma

United States crude oil inventories jumped last week as refineries continued to operate at depressed rates following hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

"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.

The assessment echoed a report by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries forecasting higher demand for its oil in 2018 and pointing to signs of a tighter global market.

"Depending on the pace of recovery for the USA refining industry post-Harvey, very soon OECD product stocks could fall to, or even below, the five-year level", the IEA's report read.

Nevertheless, the IEA said it was cautious about the extent of any post-recovery rally, saying that "expectations are that markets are tightening and that prices will rise, albeit very modestly".

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The price for Brent crude oil was up 0.68 percent at 9:10 a.m. EDT to $54.64 per barrel. Refinery utilization rates fell by two percentage points.

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.

US crude imports dropped to 5.7 million bpd last week, the lowest on record, according to the EIA. Based on the current global oil supply/demand balance, it said, Opec crude in 2017 is estimated at 32.7 mpbd, around 0.5 mpbd higher than in 2016.

West Texas Intermediate crude was up 1% to $48.71 a barrel on Wednesday morning.

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