Oil futures ended higher on Tuesday, supported by expectations for a weekly drop in U.S. crude inventories, a day after a broad selloff attributed to jitters about the impact of a default by Chinese property giant Evergrande.
“It’s one of those rollercoaster days as the market…seemed confused over how to interpret two opposing forces: the concern over the effect of China’s Evergrande possible default and the tight U.S. supply signs,” Nishant Bhushan, oil markets analyst at Rystad Energy, wrote in daily commentary.
West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery
tacked on 27 cents, or 0.4%, to finish at $70.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on the contract’s expiration day. It had traded as low as $69.67. November WTI crude
which is now the front month contract, rose 35 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $70.49 a barrel.
November Brent crude
the global benchmark, climbed 44 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $74.36 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
“Bringing a bullish tailwind” are expectations for a drawdown of U.S. crude inventories and reports that OPEC+ — the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies — is 116% compliant in August with their oil production curbs, analysts at Blue Line Futures wrote in their latest note.
“We expect bullish tailwinds to show up from the risk-landscape in the near term,” analysts at Blue Line Futures said. “From there, we do believe a subsiding delta narrative can bring a strong year-end rally,” as the U.S. has begun “laying a plan to lift travel bans for international travelers and we expect this to be an ongoing narrative in Q4.”
Oil, along with a range of other commodities, equities and other assets perceived as risky, sold off Monday, a move tied in large part to worries surrounding a potential default by Evergrande
Meanwhile, data shows U.S. oil output in the Gulf of Mexico continues to recover slowly from Hurricane Ida, which hit the Louisiana coast on Aug. 29. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement late Tuesday said 16.6% of oil production in the Gulf remained shut in, equal to 320,909 barrels a day of output.
“More than 80% of offshore platforms have returned to operation as output continues its slow return from the damage dealt by Hurricane Ida,” said Christin Redmond, global commodity analyst at Schneider Electric, in a Tuesday note.
“The remaining outages could be offline for an extended stretch though, headlined by Shell’s recent announcement that significant damage to infrastructure,” she said.
Royal Dutch Shell
the Gulf’s largest producer, on Monday said damage to its WD-143 transfer facility won’t be fully repaired until the first quarter of next year.
The Energy Information Administration will release its weekly data on U.S. petroleum supplies Wednesday. Data from the American Petroleum Institute will be issued ahead of that, on Tuesday afternoon.
Forecasts for the EIA data vary following Hurricane Ida’s disruptions to Gulf of Mexico production. On average, analysts expect the EIA to report a fall of 3.8 million barrels in domestic crude supplies for the week ended Sept. 17, according to a survey conducted by S&P Global Platts. They also forecast inventory declines of about 900,000 barrels for gasoline and 1.4 million barrels for distillates.
October natural gas
settled at $4.805 per million British thermal units, down 3.6%.