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.
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NPD - Preliminary production figures for May 2018 show an average daily production of 1 629 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is a decrease of 236 000 barrels per day compared to April.
PLATTS - Libyan crude production has fallen around 400,000 b/d -- or nearly halved -- due to militia attacks on the eastern oil terminals of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, the head of the country?s National Oil Corp. said Tuesday.
PLATTS - Venezuela's crude output averaged 1.36 million b/d in May, down from 1.41 million b/d in April, and 1.9 million b/d in May 2017, according to S&P Global Platts. The International Energy Agency said it could fall to 800,000 b/d or even lower next year.
PLATTS - Nigerian oil has been slow to sell this month as bidders for the country's July-loading heavy and light sweet crudes have been absent from the market. Market participants pegged the amount of unsold Nigerian barrels loading in July at 20 million-34 million barrels, amounting to roughly 40%-75% of what is produced in a month.