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Oil prices rise amid tight supply as US output slowly returns after storm

Brent crude was up 51 cents, or 0.8%, at $63.42 a barrel

Topics
Oil Prices | crude oil supply | US crude oil

Reuters  |  LONDON 

crude oil prices

By Noah Browning

LONDON (Reuters) - rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up 51 cents, or 0.8%, at $63.42 a barrel by 0945 GMT, after gaining nearly 1% last week. U.S. oil rose 45 cents, or 0.8%, to $59.69 a barrel, having fallen 0.4% last week.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Oilfield crews will probably take several days to de-ice valves, restart systems and begin oil and gas output. U.S. Gulf Coast refiners are assessing damage and may take up to three weeks to restore most of their operations, analysts said, though hampered by low water pressure, gas and power losses.

"With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low," ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

"Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production," said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

 

(Reporting by Noah Browning and Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Louise Heavens)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, February 22 2021. 18:05 IST
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