MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures were stable to higher during mid-morning trade in Asia trade Sept. 23 amid supply constraints and a draw in US crude stocks, reported S&P Global.
At 10:10 am Singapore time (0210 GMT), the ICE November Brent futures contract was up 15 cents/b (0.2%) from the previous close at USD76.34/b, while the NYMEX November light sweet crude contract was 9 cents/b (0.12%) higher at USD72.32/b.
"Crude prices rallied after US stockpiles tumbled to the lowest levels since October 2018," said OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya, adding that oil market fundamentals were turning bullish as concerns of an economic slowdown in China eased and amid forecasts that supply shortages for natural gas could lead to increased demand for oil.
ANZ Research analysts similarly noted that crude oil prices have risen as supply availability was back in focus, with US oil inventories falling for the seventh consecutive week.
US commercial crude stocks fell 3.48 million barrels to 413.96 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 17, to more than 8% below the five-year average, Energy Information Administration data showed. Stocks were last lower Oct. 5, 2018.
Oil supply disruptions due to Hurricane Ida continue as operators in the US Gulf of Mexico struggle to return to full production. Almost 294,214b/d or 16.18% of production remained shut-in as of Sept. 22. according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. US crude output averaged 10.6 million b/d in the week ended Sept. 17, up 500,000 b/d week on week but still down 900,000 b/d from pre-Ida levels.
Global oil supply was also expected to remain tight, with UAE energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei saying Sept. 21 that OPEC and its allies should stick to its agreement to increase production by 400,000 b/d each month, even as some observers call for a greater production increase as pandemic restrictions ease, S&P Global reported.
As informed earlier, Shell said earlier this month it observed damage from Hurricane Ida to its transfer station West Delta-143 offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. West Delta-143 serves as the transfer station for all production from its assets in the Mars corridor in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico to onshore crude terminals. Shell said then it was not yet safe to send personnel offshore to learn the full extent of the damage and estimate the effect on production.
We remind that in late August, 2021, US crude stocks dropped sharply while petroleum products supplied by refiners hit an all-time record despite the rise in coronavirus cases nationwide, the Energy Information Administration said. Crude inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 27 to 425.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3.1 million-barrel drop. Product supplied by refineries, a measure of demand, rose to 22.8 million barrels per day in the most recent week. That's a one-week record, and signals strength in consumption for diesel, gasoline and other fuels by consumers and exporters.
We also remind that US crude oil production is expected to fall by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to 11.12 million bpd, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report, a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 bpd.