MTECHTIPS;-Oil mixed amidst Irma demand fears, Saudi cut extension
MTECHTIPS;-Oil mixed amidst Irma demand fears, Saudi cut extension talks
MTECHTIPS – Oil prices were mixed on Monday, with Hurricane Irma’s continued pounding Florida raising demand fears, while U.S. refinery restarts and Saudi cut extension talks gave upward pressure. Brent crude oil futures were down 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $53.65 a barrel at 12:17 p.m. (1617 GMT) while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose by 59 cents, or over 1 percent, to $48.07. Hurricane Irma knocked out power to nearly 5.8 million Florida homes and businesses on Sunday after millions were told to evacuate ahead of the storm. Irma hit Florida on Sunday morning as a dangerous Category 4 hurricane. It gradually lost strength and weakened to a tropical storm by Monday morning as it headed towards Georgia. Harvey struck the U.S. oil hub of Texas two weeks ago, knocking out a quarter of the nation’s refineries. Now many refineries are restarting, including the largest U.S. refinery. On Monday, Motiva Enterprises restored the 325,000 barrel per day (bpd) VPS-5 crude distillation unit at its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery to minimum production levels sources said. But the oversupply of U.S. crude persists, causing a further widening in the WTI/Brent spread, said James Williams, president of energy consultant WTRG Economics.
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