Oil rises as OPEC mulls output-limit extension, refiners recover


Khalid Al-Falih, energy minister for the Saudis, agreed with his Venezuelan, Kazakh, and United Arab Emirates counterparts during a group meeting in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana to consider prolonging production cuts "beyond the first quarter of 2018, if needed".

OPEC and 10 other producers including Russian Federation first agreed late previous year to cut about 2% of global oil production to drain a global oversupply that has kept prices depressed.

"Irma will have a negative impact on oil demand but not on oil production or processing". U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 0.70% to $47.81 a barrel.

Crude futures fluctuated between gains and losses on Tuesday, ahead of an anticipated OPEC oil production report and on concerns of waning USA demand.

Irma crashed into Florida on Sunday, leaving more than 7.4 million homes and businesses without power, but has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

In August, production rose in Nigeria, which has been exempted from output curbs, OPEC said. The deal, reached in late 2016, initially called for a six month period, which later was extended with another nine months until the end of March 2018.

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Oil prices were mixed on Monday, with Hurricane Irma's continued pounding Florida raising demand fears, while US refinery restarts and Saudi cut extension talks gave upward pressure. Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said the US economy could suffer lost revenue from the storms and the estimate for third-quarter gross domestic product could drop a half point to 2.5 percent as a result.

USA crude stockpiles likely rose by 4.82 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey ahead of Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday.

The OPEC of which Saudi Arabia is the leader, and other producers including Russian Federation, have agreed to trim their output by almost 1.8 million bpd until next March.

"It is clear that the rebalancing process is under way", he said.

"We're waiting for our refineries to all get going", he said, "On the east coast we don't have enough gasoline so we have to import more product from Europe, which adds a boost to Brent".