On Monday, crude oil futures settled on a largely mixed note, as U.S. oil moves were pressured further by the growth in coronavirus cases.
Traders are closely monitoring the prospects for the fuel demand in the U.S., as 16 states have reported increases in new COVID-19 cases within the first five days of July, according to a tally from Reuters.
Florida also confirmed 11,000 cases in only a single day. That is more than any European country reported in one day, during the height of the pandemic.
The state of oil
In the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures climbed 13 cents, or 0.3%, to $40.76 a barrel, managing to recoup a two-cent loss from Monday.
Meanwhile, Brent crude futures rose seven cents, or 0.2%, to $43.17, adding to a 0.7% gain on Monday, per the Canadian publication.
In a separate report by Reuters, Saudi Aramco raised the August price for their flagship Arab Light grade for Asian customers by one dollar a barrel from July to a premium of $1.20 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average.
At the same time, Saudi Arabia’s decision to raise the premium of its benchmark crude supported international benchmark Brent, as reported by MarketWatch.
Further, Libya remains in place as an oil-producing blockade, further fueling the expectations of a tighter supply of crude than as was expected.
Little change, big impact
Moreover, a U.S. court reportedly ordered on Monday the shutdown of the Dakota Access pipeline due to environmental concerns. To date, it is the biggest artery transporting crude oil from the Bakken shale basin in North Dakota to the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions.
Sources in the Bakken region said the closure of the pipeline, which produces 570,000 barrels per day (bpd), is likely to divert some oil flows to transportation by rail while a thorough environmental impact statement is completed.
In the report by MarketWatch, Mustafa Sanalla, the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Company, told the Financial Times in an interview that a recent oil embargo concerning Libya’s absence has driven the country’s daily oil production to 100,000 a barrel from an average of 1.2 million.