Oil hovers at several week lows on Thursday amid concerns that the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is stagnating, and falling US gas demand.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures were up 4 cents, or 0.10%, at $41.55 a barrel by 0626 GMT. Brent crude LCOc1 dipped 1 cent, or 0.02%, to $44.42 a barrel.
Both benchmarks fell more than 2% on Wednesday, with WTI sliding to its lowest close in nearly four weeks and Brent at its weakest since Aug. 21.
US gasoline demand last week fell from 9.16 million barrels the previous week to 8.78 million barrels per day. There are doubts that the economic recovery in the US is delayed.
Analysts warn that the upcoming refinery maintenance and the end of the summer driving season will limit crude oil demand.
WTI crude oil is suppressed when the US refineries give a long maintenance list in the coming months, which is not thought to affect the demand for crude oil much. This is combined by poor refining margins, the lowest in almost a decade at this time of the year.
Due to the measures before Hurricane Laura, US refinery utilization rates fell 5.3 points to 76.7% of total capacity.
The refusal of Iraq’s seeking exemption from OPEC + oil cuts backing the oil market for the first quarter of next year.