Oil prices edged up Friday but settled with a fifth consecutive weekly loss as traders weighed Harvey’s effect on crude production and refinery demand in the Gulf of Mexico region, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.
October West Texas Intermediate crude rose 6 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $47.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices ended the week with a loss of 1.2%. They have notched a decline in each of the previous four weeks.
November Brent crude, the global benchmark, gave up 11 cents, or 0.2%, to end trading at $52.75 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange. For the week, Brent crude ended nearly 1.5% higher.
“The U.S. Department of Energy gave the green light yesterday for 1 million barrels of crude oil to be withdrawn from strategic reserves. In other words, refineries are paralyzed not only by the flooding, but in some cases also by a shortage of crude oil due to disruptions to imports and oil production,” analysts at Commerzbank said in a note on Friday.
Meanwhile, October natural gas ended 3 cents, or 1%, higher at $3.07 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose about 5% for the week.