OIL PRICE: ABOVE $54
But ongoing high crude output, including from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), meant there were ample supplies to meet demand.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $49.12 barrel at 0146 GMT, 4 cents below their last settlement, but not far off more than three-week highs reached in the previous session.
Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the United States, dipped 8 cents to $54.12 a barrel, though still not far from May highs reached the previous day.
U.S. Gulf Coast facilities were slowly recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, which hammered Louisiana and Texas almost two weeks ago, shutting key infrastructure in the heart of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry.
As of Wednesday, about 3.8 million barrels of daily refining capacity, or about 20 percent, was shut in, although a number of the refineries, as well as petroleum handling ports, were in the process of restarting.
ANZ bank said on Thursday that U.S. crude prices should be supported "as U.S. refineries increase their oil demand as they recover from recent flooding."
Outside the United States, the bank said that the return of Libya's largest oil field to production was "less supportive" of prices.
Oil production at Libya's Sharara field, the country's largest, was resuming on Wednesday after a valve was reopened on a pipeline shut by an armed group for more than two weeks, Libyan oil industry sources said.
Overall, global oil supplies remain plentiful despite a dip in OPEC's August exports.
OPEC's crude exports in August were 25.19 million barrels per day (bpd), their lowest level since April, according to Thomson Reuters Oil Research.
Still, average 2017 levels for January-August of 25.05 million bpd were above the average 24.85 million bpd in 2016, despite OPEC's pledge to hold back supplies between January this year and March 2018.
|November, 17, 19:55:00|
|November, 17, 19:50:00|
|November, 17, 19:45:00|
|November, 17, 19:40:00|
|November, 17, 19:35:00|
|November, 17, 19:30:00|
REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.