By Sara Israfilbayova
Oil volatility has jumped in the world markets, leaving traders stunned. The demand for energy resources remains lower, amid slow recovery of refining capacities at refineries in the U.S. after the Hurricane Harvey.
This morning, Benchmark Brent crude futures were down 0.39 percent, at $53.17 per barrel, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 0.18 percent, at $48.57 per barrel, according to Finance.ru.
Several refineries and portions of key pipelines had resumed operations, while terminals, drilling platforms and other facilities were working to restart after the storm knocked out roughly 4.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity, or nearly 23 percent of total U.S. capacity.
As of Tuesday, about 3.8 million barrels of daily refining capacity, or about 20 percent, was shut in, though a number of the refineries in that group were in the process of restarting, according to Reuters.
But later, crude prices rose to a three-month high on forecasts that the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) will soon reveal a better view of the extent of Harvey’s impact on U.S. fuel inventories, although analysts say it will take a few weeks longer to get a complete picture.
RIA Novosti reported that on September 6 afternoon Brent crude oil surpassed the mark of $54 per barrel for the first time since May 25 and stood at $54.13. The price of October futures for WTI crude oil increased by 0.88 percent and stood at $49.09.
Now the market is closely watching the next hurricane, "Irma", which reached the highest, the fifth category and is approaching the Caribbean islands. On the territory of the State of Florida an emergency situation has been declared.
Meanwhile, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that the price for Brent futures will fluctuate in the range of $45-55 per barrel in 2018.
He stressed it addressing the Eastern Economic Forum, which was held in Vladivostok, Russia.
Earlier, Novak predicted that the cost of oil in 2017 will fluctuate at a level of $50-60 per barrel.
OPEC and other major oil producers such as Russia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Sudan, and South Sudan reached an agreement in December 2016 to remove 1.8 million barrels a day from the market.
OPEC and its partners decided to extend its production cuts till March 2018 in Vienna on May 25, as the oil cartel and its allies step up their attempt to end a three-year supply glut that has savaged crude prices and the global energy industry.
Next meeting of the Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Technical Committee (JTC) of OPEC will be held in Vienna on September 22.
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