Crude prices rise on signs of drop in global inventories

Oil prices waver amid refinery work

Oil prices waver amid refinery work

Brent crude futures rose $1.06, or 1.9 percent, to $56.20 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 93 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $50.41. Refinery utilization was expected to have jumped 7.4 percentage points from 77.7 percent of total capacity in the week ended September 8, according to the poll.

"If I look at this week's EIA data, post hurricane. the refined products drawdown implies that refineries are not yet back to normal", he said.

Commercial crude inventories rose to 472.8 million barrels, up from 457.8 million barrels the week before Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Coast and knocked out more than a dozen major refineries, the Energy Department reported Wednesday.

The commodity received an additional boost on Wednesday after Iraq's oil minister said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other crude producers were considering extending or even deepening a supply cut to curb a global glut. Official weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is expected later Wednesday. The move is a bid to support oil prices which have fallen dramatically from over $110 a barrel in 2014, mainly due to a glut in supply and a failure of demand to keep pace, particularly with US shale oil producers adding to global oil supplies. The pace at which refiners processed crude rose by the most since 2008, yet distillate supplies slid by 5.69 million barrels and gasoline stockpiles fell by 2.13 million barrels.

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The U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery, which expires September 20, rose $1.05 to $50.53 a barrel at 1:08 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange after earlier rising to as high as $50.65.

Futures jumped 1.9 per cent in NY. Total volume traded was about 2 per cent above the 100-day average. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $US5.60 to November WTI.

Crude oil prices dipped lower on Tuesday, after the comments from Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi on a possible extension to the OPEC-led agreement to slash oil production.

Brent for November settlement advanced $US1.15 to end the session at $US56.29 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, the highest level since March. It's "another sign that the refining demand is going to be very strong".

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