Crude stocks in the United States have fallen in each of the last four weeks by a total of 11.5 million barrels, according to weekly data from the Energy Information Administration. But crude stocks are still 94 million barrels (25 percent) higher than at the end of 2014 and 115 million barrels (32 percent) higher than the 10-year seasonal average. Domestic oil production is expected to stabilise or even fall over the third quarter given the 60 percent reduction in the number of rigs drilling for oil.
WTI crude oil prices settled lower Monday, amid investor concerns that a tropical storm could dent crude demand. But losses were limited by ongoing expectations for a fall in Iranian crude exports amid looming U.S. sanctions.
As Hurricane Florence barrels toward the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina, investors have seemingly become concerned that crude demand could come under pressure, hurting oil prices, as people and businesses in the region are expected to hunker down.
Yet there is potential for output as well as demand disruption as storms Isaac and Helene may hit energy production, said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group.
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