By Agence France Presse
Crude prices recovered slightly in in Asian trade Tuesday a day after heavy falls caused by the impact of monster storm Harvey on a key US oil-producing region.
Harvey battered into Texas on Friday as a Category Four hurricane, tearing down homes and businesses on the Gulf Coast, and triggering massive floods.
The storm caused the closure of many oil platforms in the Gulf, and about a fifth of the region’s oil output remained shut down, according to US authorities.
With markets Monday fearing demand for crude could be hit, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) sank $1.30, while Brent finished 52 cents lower.
But in early afternoon trade in Asia Tuesday, WTI edged up 22 cents to $46.79 while Brent added 17 cents to $52.06.
But analysts said prices are expected to remain subdued as the shutdown of oil refineries would lead to higher crude stockpiles.
“Given that a significant portion of refining capacity in the US Gulf Coast is shut, we are likely to witness a situation of high domestic crude stockpiles, which will put pressure on prices,” Amit Musaddy of energy consultancy Trifecta told AFP.
A total of 105 of the 737 offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated before the storm made landfall on Friday, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). By Monday, 98 remained closed.
The Gulf of Mexico alone accounts for 20 percent of US production.
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