Big oil inventories build and gasoline draw after Harvey

US Hurricanes Affecting Oil Prices, Saudi Could Cut Output

In August, Opec crude oil production decreased by 79 tbpd to average 32.76 mpbd, " the report stated.

Oil prices settled higher on Monday amid an uptick in sentiment after Saudi Arabia said its oil minister held talks with counterparts over the possibility of extending the supply-cut agreement beyond March 2018.

However, crude stockpiles in the US have ballooned recently as Harvey crippled refinery production in the Texas and Louisiana region. Hurricane Irma, meanwhile, has shifted market dynamics because of the strain on demand. As of 2:00 p.m. EDT Tuesday, the U.S. Energy Department said four refineries in the Gulf Coast were still closed because of issues associated with Harvey, representing about 4 percent of the total U.S. refining capacity.

By 1201 GMT, worldwide benchmark Brent crude was up 47 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $54.74 a barrel.

Crude futures rose earlier on Wednesday after the International Energy Agency said the global oil surplus was starting to shrink due to robust global demand and an output drop from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers. So far, the new president has yet to score any major legislative victories.

U.S. gasoline inventories fell 8.4 million barrels last week, the largest weekly drop since the U.S. Energy Information Administration began tracking data in 1990.

Crude inventories rose 5.9 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 3 million barrels, the EIA said today. Gasoline stockpiles were down 8.4 million barrels for the week, while distillate stockpiles fell 3.2 million barrels, according to the EIA.

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