LONDON: Oil prices steadied on Tuesday as resumption of production in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Barry and a boom in US supply from shale oil countered tensions in the Middle East. Uncertainty about China’s economic prospects also pressured prices after data on Monday showed that growth in the country slowed to 6.2% from a year earlier, the weakest pace in at least 27 years. Brent crude futures were up $0.09 at $66.57 a barrel by 1333 GMT. The international benchmark hit a session high of $66.84 earlier in the day. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose $0.13 to $59.71 a barrel. The US benchmark hit a session high of $60.02 earlier. US oil companies on Monday began restoring some of the nearly 74% of production that was shut at platforms in the Gulf of Mexico because of Hurricane Barry. The market was also weighed down by signs of further increases in output from the United States, which has ridden a wave of shale oil production to become the world’s biggest crude producer, ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2019.