Futures rose towards $73 a barrel on Friday as refineries in Louisiana restarted and returning offshore production could not keep pace. About two-thirds of the US Gulf’s offshore oil production or about 1.2 million b/d has remained offline since late August. As a result, US crude inventories fell to the lowest since September 2019. The storm that hit the US Gulf of Mexico so far has removed more than 21 million barrels of crude from the market. Over 1.68 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas were also off-line on Friday, while a total of 65 platforms and three rigs continued to be evacuated.
Damages to oil production facilities in the US Gulf of Mexico kept output largely halted a week after Hurricane Ida made landfall, according to offshore regulator the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Energy companies have been coping with damaged platforms and onshore power outages and logistical issues, slowing efforts to restart production. Some 88% of crude oil output and 83% of natural gas production remained suspended. About 1.6 million barrels of crude oil remained offline, with only about 100,000 barrels added since Saturday. Another 1.8 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas output also was shut in.