YEREVAN, August 20. /ARKA/. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped for the first time in seven days as the threat of a storm in the Gulf of Mexico dissipated, removing a risk to oil and gas production in the area.
Futures fell 0.3 percent after the National Hurricane Center in Miami said there was no tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic basin. Some offshore energy rigs and platforms evacuated personnel last week as a storm precaution. Oil also slid because demand from U.S. refineries is declining as the peak gasoline-use period comes to an end. WTI capped the longest rising streak since April on Aug. 16 on unrest in Egypt.
“Worries about a storm in the Gulf, which helped boost prices late last week, have gone,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York hedge fund that focuses on energy. “We’ve already seen a downtick in refinery utilization and should see further declines in the weeks ahead and we enter the fall maintenance season.”
WTI crude for September delivery decreased 36 cents to settle at $107.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The September WTI contract expires tomorrow. The more-active October futures dropped 43 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $106.86. The volume of all futures traded was about 20 percent below the 100-day average at 3:31 p.m.
Brent oil for October settlement fell 50 cents, or 0.5 percent, to end the session at $109.90 a barrel on the London- based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Trading of futures was 13 percent below the 100-day average. The European benchmark closed at a $3.04 premium to WTI. –0--