Oil extended gains after closing at a seven-week high as around a third of the Gulf of Mexico's crude output was cut before a potential hurricane and U.S. crude inventories shrunk more than expected.
West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery gained 23 cents, or 0.4%, to $60.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 7:23 a.m. in London after rising as much as 40 cents earlier. The contract closed at the highest level since May 22 on Wednesday.
Brent for September settlement added 22 cents, or 0.3%, to $67.23 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange. It climbed 4.4% to $67.01 on Wednesday, the highest close since May 29. The global benchmark crude traded at a $6.50 premium to WTI for the same month.
Gulf of Mexico operators have shut 602,715 barrels a day of oil production ahead of the storm, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in a notice. Chevron said Tuesday it began shutting in five of its platforms in the Gulf and will start evacuating all associated personnel. Royal Dutch Shell Plc has also evacuated non-essential personnel at seven platforms and BP also began removing offshore personnel.
Source : Bloomberg