Febrero 20, 2018

U.S. releases 1mn barrels of strategic petroleum reserve

01 Setiembre 2017, 05:45 | Dolorita Barahona

Harvey may succeed where OPEC has struggled by boosting oil prices: Russell

About 22 per cent of US Gulf of Mexico oil production is offline because of Tropical Storm Harvey

Indeed, the effects of the storm will continue for several weeks, if not months, after Harvey hammered the Gulf Coast for days and brought floods that buried Houston and the surrounding area in several feet of water.

That artery can carry 3 million barrels of gasoline and other products daily.

Crude got a boost with the assumption that "refiners are willing to pay up for crude" amid strong refining margins, said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group.

The Energy Department reported on Thursday morning that 10 refineries, representing 16.6 per cent of total USA capacity, remained shut. They had been pressured by concerns US refiners will stay shut and demand less oil, potentially leading to higher USA stockpiles and rekindling fears of a global supply glut.

According to the DOE statement, the oil will be delivered to the Phillips 66 refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, a plant which has not been affected by the storm. Damage has knocked out refineries and some 22% of the Gulf of Mexico's crude production, according to the Financial Post.

Concerns over fuel shortages ahead of the U.S. Labor Day extended weekend were also mounting. The impact of Harvey was also weighing slightly on the greenback, Lien added.

The big draw in crude came as United States gasoline demand hit a record 9.846 million barrels per day last week and as USA refinery use rates rose to 96.6 percent, the highest since August 2015. Other refineries in the area are likely to do the same later this week.

More than 2 million barrels per day of US refining capacity remain shut because of Harvey, which slammed into the Texas coast near Corpus Christi late on Friday.

When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the USA exported just 800,000 bpd of mostly refined products.

While fuel prices rally, crude markets are stumbling. But supplies from distant markets may not arrive soon enough to avert a crunch. On December 10, 2016 was a meeting of oil producers outside the OPEC.

Overnight, the AAA said retail gasoline prices were up 6 cents from a week ago at $2.404 per gallon of regular gasoline nationwide. "We could see Europe looking more towards Asia to meet any shortfall from the U.S".

Two pipelines have had to reduce activities due to lack of fuel to transport: the Explorer pipeline, which reaches into the northern Midwest region; and the giant Colonial pipeline, which traces a path along the northeastern coast.

The result will be higher prices, but it should be just a one- or two-week problem, Joswick said. In contrast, the storm-induced refinery shutdowns remained bearish for crude.

Kloza predicted that refinery shutdowns will lift per-gallon gas prices by 15 to 25 cents nationally, up from his earlier estimate of up to 20 cents.

The effects of Hurricane Harvey are already showing up in USA gas prices.

"However, assuming that outages at most US Gulf Coast refineries do not last longer than the next week or so, we could imagine that a major but brief reduction in runs could translate into an additional 100,000 to 150,000 bpd of intake (in the US and elsewhere) over the subsequent three months as lost inventory volumes are made up for".

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