Oil prices edged lower on Monday on signs that the impact of a tropical storm on U.S. Gulf Coast production and refining would be short-lived, while Chinese economic data dimmed the crude demand outlook, ONA reports quoting Reuters.
Easing tensions between the West and the Middle East also weighed on oil futures.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 dropped 14 cents to $66.58 a barrel by 1:53 p.m. EDT (1753 GMT), while U.S. crude CLc1 shed 57 cents, or 1%, to $59.64 a barrel.
One U.S. Gulf Coast refinery was restarting after shutting under threats of Tropical Storm Barry, while other refineries in the path of the storm continued to operate.
U.S. offshore oil producers restarted 4% of the production shut by Barry last week, according to a report on Monday by the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Energy companies had slashed offshore U.S. Gulf of Mexico crude output by 73%, or 1.4 million bpd.
“This market’s muted response to Gulf Coast storm activity appears to suggest that (Gulf of Mexico) production curtailments will prove minimal while any lost output could easily be offset,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.