Oil prices near five-month high as producers brace for hurricane – business live

Good morning, and welcome to our live coverage of business, economics and financial markets.

North American oil prices have sustained five-month-high levels as producers brace for hurricanes that could prompt the biggest weather-related shutdown for 15 years – as well as fears for the potential human costs.

Futures prices for West Texas Intermediate, the North American benchmark, hit highs of $43.57 per barrel on Tuesday, and have just about sustained those levels at about $43.27 at the time of writing. Before this week prices had not reached that level since the coronavirus pandemic triggered the price crash in March, followed by the historic negative prices in April.

Brent crude futures, the North Sea benchmark, traded as high as $46.10 per barrel on Wednesday, just shy of a five-month high.

Crude oil production has fallen to levels last seen during 2005’s Hurricane Katrina as producers brace for Hurricane Laura, and officials along the Texas and Louisiana coasts have ordered residents to move inland. Winds reaching 115 miles per hour are forecast.

Reuters reported that oil producers on Tuesday had evacuated 310 offshore facilities and shut 1.56 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output, 84% of Gulf of Mexico’s offshore production, near the 90% outage that Katrina brought 15 years ago.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank led by Jim Reid wrote:

The incoming arrival of Hurricane Laura to the United States [has] led to worries over potential fuel shortages.

The National Hurricane Center warned that Laura would reach the northwestern Gulf Coast tonight, with the danger of life-threatening storm surges. Much of the oil production in the area has already been shut down, and there are obvious concerns of further damage to come.

This map of the area from S&P Global’s Platts shows just how much US oil capacity is concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico – and also the number of refineries which will not have any oil to process:

Platts Oil

The US Gulf Coast energy industry was preparing Aug. 25 as the second of two storms this week was approaching the Texas/Louisiana coast | #crudeoil #natgas #Laura #hurricane#FACTBOX: https://t.co/dmJd3MIZYu pic.twitter.com/b5ChRd55U4

August 25, 2020

Satellite pictures of the ocean tell their own story:


Laura swirls toward U.S. Gulf Coast as category 2 hurricane https://t.co/hfgbNWz1qZ pic.twitter.com/Pva0MVG5jT

August 26, 2020

Elsewhere on Wednesday, investors are mainly looking ahead to the Jackson Hole central bankers’ summit (albeit carried out this year by videoconference for obvious reasons).

Bonds sold off overnight as investors look for riskier assets, although the traditional rotation of money into stock markets does not appear to have materialised this morning. Asian markets retreated despite US equity indices hitting new record highs last night.

The FTSE 100 has lost 0.3% in early trading, while Germany’s Dax and France’s Cac 40 have lost 0.2% and 0.4% respectively.

The agenda

1:30pm BST: US durable goods orders, July (previous: up 7.3%; consensus: up 4.3%)

2pm BST: European Central Bank Isabel Schnabel speech

Source link


Russia’s “abominable” attack on Ukraine mall a “war crime”: G7

The G7 leaders said a Russian missile attack that...

Mitch McConnell’s Court Delivers

WASHINGTON — When Speaker Nancy Pelosi refers to the...

Australia’s aged-care sector losing 65,000 workers every year, report finds

Australia's aged-care sector is short of 35,000 workers, with...

Australia live news updates: population passes 25 million, 2021 census reveals; NSW records 40 Covid deaths, Victoria 11

2021 census: first wave of data released todayCaitlin CassidyCast your mind back to last August and you probably remember filling out the census, alongside...

British taxpayers take stake in sex party planning firm Killing Kittens

Taxpayers have become shareholders in Killing Kittens, a sex party organiser, alongside a business looking to bring airships back to the skies, as part...

UK faces ‘significant risks’ to quality of food imported post-Brexit, says report

The UK is facing “significant risks” to the quality of food being imported and consumed as Brexit, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and...