Sat. Jan 23rd, 2021

Oil prices rise as storm threatens U.S. gulf production, Bonny Light loses $0.28

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Oil prices climbed on Monday as a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico
prompted rigs to halt production even though wider concerns regarding
excess supply and shrinking demand for fuel capped gains.

 U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, futures edged up by 18
cents, or 0.5%, at $37.51 a barrel at 06:14 West Africa Time while
Brent Crude jumped by 9 cents, or 0.2%, to $39.92 a barrel.

Bunny Light, Nigeria’s banner crude grade, was down by 29 cents or
0.71% at $38.98 per barrel at the previous session on Friday. That
same day, Qua Iboe, another major national oil grade, shed 94 cents or
2.29% at $40.19 a barrel.

Both the WTI and Brent closed lower last week, their second straight
week of loss.

On Sunday, in the Gulf of Mexico west of Florida, Tropical Storm Sally
intensified its rage and was on course to becoming a category 2
hurricane.

The storm is standing in the way of oil production for the second time
in less than a month after Hurricane Laura hammered through the
region.

Ideally, oil rises when production is shut down but with the
coronavirus pandemic aggravating, demand concerns are at the forefront
of global attention while supplies continue to grow the world over.

“A lackluster driving season in the U.S. has seen the market reassess
its view of U.S. demand… With U.S. refiners now shutting down for
maintenance, crude demand is likely to remain soft,” ANZ Research said
in a note.

BP Plc and Equinor ASA rescued employees from a couple of offshore
platforms on Sunday

following similar actions by Chevron Corp and Murphy Oil Corp the preceding day.

In Libya, Commander Khalifa Haftar committed to ending a months-long
blockade of oil facilities, a move expected to increase market
supplies, even though it remained vague if oil fields and ports would
start operation.

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