Oil prices rising as storm Isaac moves towards US
OIL IS headed for a fourth weekly gain as tropical storm Isaac strengthened in the Caribbean Sea on a path that may threaten crude production in the Gulf of Mexico.
Prices rose by up to 0.9 per cent on forecasts that Isaac will enter the Gulf next week: it crossed Haiti late yesterday.
BP, Eni and Apache began evacuating non-essential workers from the Gulf.
“The storm is going to be news over the weekend, and people just don’t want to go short at a time like this,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts.
Going short means placing bets that prices will fall.
Crude for October delivery slipped seven cents to $96.20 (€76.86) a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 0.2 per cent this week and down 2.7 per cent this year.
Brent oil for October settlement slid $1.31, or 1.1 per cent, to $113.70 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
The storm system is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane off the west coast of Florida in about four days, said Miami-based National Hurricane Center. So far winds have reached speeds of 60mph (96.5kph): a storm becomes a hurricane when winds reach 74mph (110kph).
BP began evacuating its Thunder Horse oil platform in the Gulf. Eni, Apache and Royal Dutch Shell are also evacuating non-essential workers.