US crude futures rise 80 cents/bbl ahead of Isaac

28 August 2012 21:57  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--NYMEX light sweet crude (WTI) for October delivery settled at $96.33/bbl on Tuesday, up 86 cents versus the previous close on cautious trading ahead of Hurricane Isaac’s landfall.

A Category 1 hurricane, Isaac was expected to make landfall late Tuesday/early Wednesday on the Louisiana coast.

Most offshore oil and gas installations and a number of refineries were shut down for as a precaution but the hurricane was not expected to cause extreme damage to the facilities other than loss of production and refining capacity.

The market also kept an eye on developments regarding the weekend fire affecting fuel storage tanks in Venezuela’s Amuay refinery which could also result in the shortage of fuel supplies.

Gasoline futures spiked high on Monday on expectations of a squeeze in refined products as a result of the fire and of US refineries cutting throughput but experienced a sell-off on profit taking.

Market participants were unsure whether the storm would encourage the Department of Energy to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to ensure adequate supplies.

WTI established an intra-day high of $96.54/bbl before retreating ahead of the closing bell.

ICE Brent for October delivery lagged behind its American counterpart, settling at $112.58/bbl, up 32 cents.

By: Ignacio Sotolongo
+1 713 525 2653

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