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Tom Kool

Tom majored in International Business at Amsterdam’s Higher School of Economics, he is Oilprice.com's Head of Operations

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Brent Crude Hits $87.50 Amid Hurricane Beryl, But Gains May Be Short-Lived


Brent crude soared to $87.50 per barrel on July 4th for the first time since mid-April, holding firm as a flurry of bullish news supports crude prices in early July. The surge was driven by oil supply threats from Hurricane Beryl and a bullish oil inventory report from the EIA.

Reports indicated that Hurricane Beryl is disrupting U.S. oil output, prompting companies like Shell, BP, and Exxon Mobil to evacuate platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimate that around 73,000 barrels per day of federal offshore oil production lie in the storm's projected path. However, Bloomberg reported on Thursday that major platforms, including Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Hoover, Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s Boomvang, and Shell Plc’s Perdido, are now clear of the storm’s path and may not face significant production declines.

On Wednesday, weather reports predicted that the category 5 hurricane would hit the Texas Gulf Coast with significant strength. However, experts stated on Thursday that they believe the hurricane will weaken as it passes the Yucatan Peninsula. According to ICIS, Beryl is expected to "weaken further and reach Tamaulipas and the U.S. state of Texas as a storm, much less destructive and not a cause of concern for industrial assets in those regions."

Amid the rise in crude prices, Saudi Aramco released its OSPs for August loadings on Thursday. According to Reuters, Aramco cut the price for the flagship Arab Light crude it will sell to Asia in August to $1.80 per barrel above the Oman/Dubai average. The Saudi oil major also hiked the official selling price for Arab Light to U.S. markets by $0.10/bbl to $4.85/bbl above the benchmark. The lower premium on its Arab Light crude to Asia reflects the reality of a more competitive market, with non-OPEC producers encroaching on market share held by Middle Eastern producers.

By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com

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