Crude oil prices fluctuated on Tuesday while traders watched rising coronavirus cases in Asia and Europe and the production cuts that caused by the tropical storms Marco and Laura on the US Gulf Coast.
Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 added 14 cents, or 0.3%, to $45.27 a barrel by 0700 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was down 4 cents, or 0.1%, at $42.58 a barrel.
The jump in US drilling rigs last week, worrying data on COVID-19 infections, and possible production cuts from two separate hurricanes moving in part in the US Gulf Coast region had a negative impact on oil this week.
Energy companies took action Monday to cut production at oil refineries on the US Gulf coast. 82% of the region’s offshore crude oil production was halted because the double storm attack, which oil regions rarely faced, threatened to bring heavy rains and strong winds for days this week.
According to a preliminary survey conducted on Monday, U.S. crude inventories are likely to decline in the fifth week, while inventories of refined products also fell last week.
Producers have closed off more than 1.5 million barrels of oil production offshore per day on the US Coast and about 14% of the country’s total output.
While there is an increase in coronavirus cases in Europe, a person who had the Covid-19 the disease in Hong Kong was reported that he has been infected by the virus again about four months later.
Meanwhile, US and Chinese officials are said to have made progress in resolving issues related to the Phase 1 trade agreement, adopted in January.