World Crude Oil Consumption to Grow 1.1 Percent by 2020

Oil rises more than 1% after U.S. stockpile drop Brent nears $65

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said there were risks that prices gains in the USA might persistently undershoot the central bank's inflation target and that the country's labour market was not running hot.

Crude oil prices calmed Thursday as Opec forecast slower demand for its crude in 2020, even as crude futures remained at their highest in more than a month as oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated ahead of the hurricane season's first tropical storm.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 34 cents, or 0.6 per cent, at $60.54 a barrel.

According to the report, the higher non-OPEC production forecast is based to the debottlenecking of oil infrastructure in North America and new project ramp ups in Brazil, Norway and Australia.

The market was also bolstered by the news that a tropical cyclone is likely later this week in the Gulf of Mexico, raising concerns over potential disruptions to oil and natural gas production in the region. U.S. President Donald Trump vowed Wednesday to impose more sanctions on Iran and accused it of violating the nuclear accord that he withdrew from a year ago.

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"Brent crude oil. extended its gains as storms in the Gulf of Mexico halted production of oil and United States oil inventories continued to recede more than expected", ANZ Bank said in a note. The contract closed at the highest level since May 22 on Wednesday.

Oil companies in the United States have so far evacuated nearly 200 offshore platforms ahead of the storm, including major oil producers Shell, BP, BHP, Exxon, and more, for a loss of roughly a million barrels of oil per day.

Brent for September added 6 cents to US$67.07 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange. It climbed 4.4% to $67.01 on Wednesday, the highest close since May 29. Chevron said Tuesday it began closing five of its platforms and will start moving out all associated personnel. That was the fourth straight weekly decline in US crude inventories. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP have also evacuated workers.

Contributing to price gains, the US Department of Energy reported a large 8.1m barrel draw in US commercial crude oil stockpiles over the week ending on 5 July. Analysts at IHS Markit had expected a weekly drop of 2.1 million barrels. A day after Iran warned Britain would face "consequences" over the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker, three Iranian vessels tried to block passage of a British ship operated by BP through the Strait of Hormuz, the British government said.

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