Oil prices fell on Friday as Hurricane Irma drove towards the U.S. state of Florida. Irma, which is the second hurricane to approach the United States in two weeks, could knock out refineries and cause fuel shortages in the next few days. Statistics showed Irma’s predecessor Harvey shut a quarter of U.S. refineries.
Analysts said oil prices fell as a result of low refining activity following Harvey, which sharply reduced demand for crude oil, reports BSS.
Meanwhile, rising U.S. inventories also weighed on the market. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report on Thursday that U.S. crude stocks increased 4.6 million barrels last week, higher than market expectation of a 4.0-million barrel build.
The West Texas Intermediate for October Delivery lost 1.61 dollars to settle at 47.48 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for November delivery lost 0.71 dollars to close at 53.78 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.