Oil prices inch lower as demand remains subdued
Oil prices witnessed a dip on Wednesday as demand for crude remained subdued on the back of refinery closures due to Hurricane Harvey.
Market focus was also being drawn to Hurricane Irma, a record Category 5 storm, which is heading towards important shipping lanes in the Caribbean.
Although many refineries and pipelines which were knocked out by Harvey are now in the process of restarting their operations and it will take some time before the US oil industry is back to full crude processing capacity.
As of Tuesday, about 3.8 million barrels of daily refining capacity, or about 20%, was shut, though a number of the refineries in that group were in the process of restarting. Several others, including Marathon’s Galveston Bay and Citgo’s Corpus Christi refineries, were running at reduced rates, reported a leading business daily.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at USD 48.63 barrel at 0048 GMT, 3 cents below their last settlement. In international oil markets, Brent crude futures dipped 19 cents to USD 53.19 a barrel.