Oil holds gains as Hurricane Ida continues to affect supplies

US crude oil prices have stabilized above $ 69 a barrel as the slowdown in the return to production in the Gulf of Mexico, interrupted by Hurricane Ida more than a week ago, has tightened the market as the global benchmark trades above. the 72 dollars.

New York futures rose 1.4% on Wednesday after two consecutive days of declines.

Just over 20% of oil and natural gas production returned to the US Gulf of Mexico after the hurricane hit southeastern Louisiana, representing a slower return than the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Regional crude oil grades such as the March mix rose due to the prolonged closure.

Oil prices have fallen over the past two months due to mixed demand signals, including concerns about fuel consumption due to the coronavirus delta variable, leading to renewed traffic restrictions. The outlook now appears to be improving, with the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China, seeing demand exceed pre-pandemic levels.

More than a week after the impact of Hurricane Ida, about 77 percent of marine production in the region is still closed, the Bureau said. of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. By comparison, about 60% of oil production and 40% of gas were shut down long after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The American Petroleum Institute reported that US crude oil inventories fell by 2.88 million barrels last week, according to people familiar with the matter, while a “Bloomberg” survey ahead of the Energy Information Administration’s official data showed that nationwide inventories are expected to have decreased by 4.75 million barrels.

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