Oil prices recovered on Wednesday after a US industry report showed crude inventories fell more than expected last week, steadying after overnight losses from the impact of Hurricane Ida on US refineries.
Brent crude futures for November gained 49 cents, or 0.7percent, to touch USD 72.12 a barrel by 0414 GMT while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for October was at USD 69.00 a barrel, up 50 cents, or 0.7percent.
Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in the United States on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane, knocked out at least 94 percent of offshore Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production and caused "catastrophic" damage to Louisiana's grid.
Prices were pressured by concerns that power outages and flooding in Louisiana after Hurricane Ida will cut crude demand from refineries.
About 1.7 million bpd of offshore oil production was shut, but that output may resume more quickly than many refining operations along the Gulf that lost power. Analysts at FGE said in a Tuesday note they expect roughly three-quarters of offshore output to resume by the end of the week.
OPEC and allied producers in OPEC+ had agreed to add 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to monthly supply until the end of December. Sources told Reuters the group is likely to maintain that plan despite US pressure for more output.
OPEC's own data showed the market will face a deficit until the end of 2021 but then flip into a surplus in 2022.
"It would hurt OPEC+’s credibility to change the terms after only one month," said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.
The Colonial Pipeline - the largest US fuel line to the East Coast - restarted its main gasoline and distillate lines on Tuesday after shutting them ahead of the storm, but some refineries are reporting damage to their plants.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it found evidence of building damage at its 230,611 barrel-per-day (bpd) Norco, Louisiana, refinery, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.
"If refiners recover capacity in two to four weeks, then we should be OK. Beyond that, we will be driving inventory levels very low and prices may start to react meaningfully higher,” said Rebecca Babin, a senior energy trader at CIBC Wealth.
First Published: IST