Oil Prices Crash As US Restores Output

Yemisi Izuora

Oil prices dropped for a second straight session on Monday as U.S. producers began restoring output after Hurricane Delta weakened, while a strike that had affected production in Norway came to an end.

Brent crude for December fell 55 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $42.30 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate for November was at $40.08 a barrel, down 52 cents, or 1.3 per cent.

Front-month prices for both contracts gained more than 9 per cent last week, the biggest weekly rise for Brent since June, but fell on Friday after Norwegian oil firms struck a wage bargain with labour union officials, resolving a strike that threatened to cut the country’s oil and gas output by close to 25 per cent.

“We had good support for both Brent and West Texas on the back of some supply concerns,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“Given that the hurricane season in the U.S. has just started, there’s potential for that to keep prices firm.”

In the United States, Hurricane Delta, which dealt the greatest blow to U.S. offshore Gulf of Mexico energy production in 15 years, was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone by Sunday.

Workers headed back to production platforms on Sunday while Total SA continued restarting its 225,500 barrel-per-day Port Arthur, Texas, refinery on Sunday.

However, Colonial Pipeline, the largest oil products pipeline in the United States, shut its main distillate fuel line after the hurricane disrupted power, the company said on Sunday.

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