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Oil prices rise on expectations of market balance
15 September 2017, 12:53 | Marta Robbins
US Hurricanes Affecting Oil Prices, Saudi Could Cut Output
Refinery utilization slumped to a nine-year low and crude imports fell to the lowest on record after Hurricane Harvey disrupted Gulf Coast refineries, oil production operations and ports.
That was largely tied to solid gains in crude oil, sparked by signs of reduced global production.
Traders have been watching the level of commercial crude oil and petroleum product inventories for much of the year in part to gauge the impact of an effort led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to balance an oversupplied market with managed production declines. "The focus now shifts to the post-Harvey scenario", he said.
Crude inventories increased to 468.2 million barrels, although there was still a year-on-year decline of 2.5%.
The price for Brent crude oil was up 0.68 percent at 9:10 a.m. EDT to $54.64 per barrel.
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World oil demand growth in 2017 is expected to rise by 1.42 million barrels per day (mbpd) after an upward revision of around 50,000 barrels per day (tbpd), according to Opec Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR). Benchmark Brent crude rose 53 cents a barrel or almost 1 percent, to trade at $54.80.
USA commercial crude storage levels skyrocketed by 5.9 million barrels last week in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey as refinery shutdowns prevented much of the nation's new oil production from being processed.
US refinery utilization rates fell to 77.7 percent last week, the lowest since 2008, according to EIA.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 3.2 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.5 million-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.
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