Oil prices gain as U.S. Gulf production closes ahead of Hurricane Delta
Oil prices rose on Thursday as oil-refinery workers evacuated rigs in the U.S. Gulf ahead of Hurricane Delta. However, fuel demand worries persisted amid fading hopes for a U.S. stimulus and a build in crude stocks.
Brent crude futures gained 0.2%, or 9 cents, at $42.08 per barrel after sliding 1.6% on Wednesday. West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed 0.1%, or 3 cents, at $39.98 per barrel following a 1.8% drop on Wednesday.
Hurricane Delta is expected to intensify into a Category 3 storm, prompting oil producers to evacuate 183 offshore facilities and stop almost 1.5 million bpd of output.
The U.S. Gulf, which makes up for 17% of total U.S. crude output, produced 1.65 million barrels per day in July. Government data showed that oil demand in the United States fell 13.2% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, hopes for another U.S. coronavirus aid package faded after President Donald Trump canceled stimulus talks.
U.S. gasoline stocks dropped more than expected last week to their lowest since November. Distillate stocks also fell, while crude oil supplies climbed by 501,000 barrels.