Harry Tchilinguirian, global head of commodity markets at BNP Paribas, said the market was still determining the extent of the damage of Hurricane Harvey on oil refineries, while anticipating the effect of Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the us over the weekend.
Power has been cut to 4 million homes in Florida as millions fled the state as Hurricane Irma moved up the coast.
Irma hit Florida on Sunday morning as a unsafe Category 4 storm, the second highest level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, but by afternoon it weakened to a Category 2 with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (177 kph).
Brent, the global benchmark, rose 45 cents, or 0.84%, to $54.29 a barrel.
OPEC and other producers, including Russia, Mexico and Kazakhstan pledged in late 2016 to reduce output by about 1.8 million barrels a day to eliminate a global surplus that was depressing prices. The U.S. dollar, meanwhile, has declined steadily, something the head of Russian oil major Rosneft said recently was contributing to the rise in crude oil prices.
Commenting on the impact on oil production of hurricane Harvey, OPEC said "the USA energy industry appears to be rebounding quickly".
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies may keep output cuts in place well into the second half of next year, according to people familiar with the matter. But market sources in North Asia say North Korea now takes about 6 million barrels/year of Chinese crude.
OPEC said inventories were falling and that an increase in the price of Brent crude for immediate delivery to a premium to that for later supplies raised hopes that a rebalancing is under way. "Due to the demand-focused impact of Irma, we find that, by the end of September, gasoline and distillate stocks respectively are only -8 million barrels and -13 million barrels lower respectively than they otherwise would have been". It is also costing them market share to rivals, including partner Russian Federation and the U.S.
After Hurricane Harvey halted nearly a quarter of the nation's refining capacity, crude prices in NY slumped as gasoline prices soared.
"Over the next two to three weeks, the EIA inventory numbers will be rather sloppy because you have production disrupted, refineries going offline and online", he said, noting that OPEC figures are a better signal of market stabilization, "That's why you have to look out further".
Non-Opec Kazakhstan is aiming for a stand-alone deal with Opec on restraining its crude production due to a need to crank up output at its Kashagan field, a Kazakh official said last week.
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Only three days earlier, Antigua and Barbuda had been devastated by a peak-strength Category 5 Irma, packing 185-mph winds. On late Monday afternoon, the NHC announced that Hurricane Jose continues to move far northeast of the Bahamas.
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