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US Oil Loses Most in Day in 2 Weeks, Hurricane Beryl Reinforces Demand Worries

© AP Photo / Tony GutierrezAn oil rig in Midland, Texas, US.
An oil rig in Midland, Texas, US. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.07.2024
NEW YORK (Sputnik) - US crude prices fell the most in a day since late June as Hurricane Beryl shut down a number of domestic refineries on Monday, reinforcing worries about demand from fuel processors in the United States.
US West Texas Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude settled at $82.33 per barrel, down 83 cents, or 1%, on the day. It was WTI’s sharpest one-day drop since June 21. Despite that, the US crude benchmark remained up $10.68 per barrel since the end of 2023, leaving it up 15% for this year.
UK-origin Brent crude settled at $85.75, down 79 cents, or 0.9% on the day. Year-to-date, the global crude benchmark is up $8.71 per barrel, or 11%.
Oil’s 2024 rally began with threats to supply caused by geopolitical developments and output cuts by producers in the 23-nation OPEC+ alliance led by Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Lately though, the run-up in crude prices has been powered by bets that the summer season, the busiest for travel in the United States, will result in huge drawdowns in crude stockpiles as refiners race to make enough fuels to feed everything from cars to trucks, airplanes and ships.
US President Joe Biden holds a press conference during a solidarity visit to Israel, on October 18, 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.06.2024
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Hurricane Beryl could dilute some of that demand optimism. Downgraded to a tropical storm upon making landfall in Texas, Beryl killed at least two people, knocked out power to more than two million homes and businesses and flooded streets.
More importantly for the oil industry, the storm forced the closure of major oil-shipping ports in Texas, which serves as the heartland of US energy. Shell and Chevron were among major names in oil that took precaution by evacuating workers from the Gulf of Mexico, which wraps around Texas.
Media reports suggested that those actions, put together, could impact not just the export of US crude to overseas destinations but also the transport of crude to domestic refineries, as well as the distribution of motor fuel to service stations.
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