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Markets

Oil holds above $75 as storm-hit U.S. supply returns slowly

  • Brent dips but still set for more than 3% weekly gain
  • Slow post-Ida production recovery bolsters prices
Updated 17 Sep 2021

LONDON: Brent oil futures dipped on Friday but held above $75 a barrel, remaining on track for a weekly gain of more than 3% thanks to the slow recovery in output after two hurricanes in the US Gulf of Mexico.

Brent crude futures fell 34 cents, or 0.45%, to $75.33 a barrel by 1134 GMT.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 44 cents, or 0.61%, at $72.17 after settling unchanged in the previous session.

"The market is pausing for a breath. This week's supply-demand reports from OPEC and the IEA suggest that the balance of the year will be tight - demand is expected to grow and non-OPEC supply, partly because of Hurricane Ida, will get tighter," said PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga.

Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports hit six-month high in July

"The weather-related disruption was laid bare in Wednesday's EIA inventory report and further crude oil stock draws are anticipated next week and possibly beyond in the US Gulf Coast."

The dollar climbed to a three-week high on Friday, making dollar-traded crude imports more expensive for countries using other currencies.

As of Thursday, about 28% of US Gulf of Mexico crude production remained offline, two-and-a-half weeks after Hurricane Ida hit.

"It's still taking longer than people thought in terms of that coming back. That has been a supportive factor in the market," said Commonwealth Bank commodities analyst Vivek Dhar.

"We're going to go into more (supply) deficit conditions - that certainly seems to be the view."

Preliminary data from the US Energy Information Administration showed US crude exports in September have slipped to between 2.34 million barrels per day (bpd) and 2.62 million bpd from 3 million bpd in late August.

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