Oil prices slip as Hurricane Laura hammers U.S. Gulf Coast
By Laura Sanicola NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Thursday as a massive hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico made landfall in the heart of the U.S.
By Laura Sanicola
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Thursday as a massive hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico made landfall in the heart of the U.S. oil industry, forcing oil rigs and refineries to shut down.
The storm hit Louisiana early Thursday with 150 mile-per-hour (240 kph) winds, damaging buildings, knocking down trees and cutting power to more than 400,000 people in Louisiana and Texas. Its storm surge was less than predicted, sparing inland plants from feared flooding. [nL1N2FT1BA]
Oil producers on Tuesday had shut 1.56 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output, or 84% of the Gulf of Mexico's production, evacuating 310 offshore facilities.
At the same time, refiners that convert nearly 2.33 million bpd of crude oil into fuel, and account for about 12% of U.S. processing, halted operations.
"On the one hand refinery shutdowns reduced the demand for crude oil, but at the same time Gulf of Mexico production was shut in, nearly offsetting each other," said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.
Exxon Mobil Corp
"These guys have gone through these drills many times," said Jennifer Rowland, senior analyst at Edward Jones in St. Louis. "They know how to turn those units down and get them back up within a number of days...it shouldn’t be that big of an impact,” she added.
(Additional reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York, Ahmad Ghaddar in London, Sonali Paul and Koustav Samanta; editing by Jason Neely and David Gregorio)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
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