Oil prices steady amid Texas supply disruptions, potential OPEC+ moves

Flare stacks beside two oilfield pumpjacks, belonging to Whiting Oil & Gas Corp., producing crude on wells in the Bakken Formation (Williston Basin) near Ray, ND on Sept. 8, 2018. (AP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices were steady on Wednesday, as support from supply disruptions in the U.S. south caused by an Arctic blast was offset by expectations that OPEC+ producers may ease their output curbs after April.

Brent crude futures rose 17 cents to $63.52 a barrel at 0709 GMT, adding to three days of gains. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dipped 11 cents to $60.16 a barrel.

Oil prices have run up strongly in recent months and supply disruptions caused by a historic winter storm in Texas, the country’s largest oil producing state, continued to keep prices supported, Reuters cited analysts as saying.

ANZ and Citigroup analysts estimated at least 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of U.S. shale oil production has been curtailed, according to Reuters.

The extreme cold, however, has hit crude demand due to disruptions to refinery operations, the news agency reported.

Chevron Corp’s 112,229 bpd Houston-area refinery in Pasadena, Texas, was shut on Tuesday, the company said.

OPEC+ sources told Reuters that oil producers are likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices.

The group will meet to set policy on March 4.

“We’re in a technical holding pattern supported by fundamental on the downside and top side capped ahead of March OPEC (meeting),” said Stephen Innes, Axi chief market strategist.

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