Oil prices fall as investors fear deep freeze impact on U.S. refineries
Oil prices fell over 1% on Friday, adding to declines sustained overnight, on fears that refineries won’t resume operations soon following a deep freeze in the U.S. South.
Brent crude futures dropped 1.4%, or 87 cents, at $63.06 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures lost 1.4%, or 82 cents, at $59.70 per barrel.
Both contracts rallied to 13-month highs on Thursday driven by a deep freeze in U.S. southern states. Analysts estimate the extreme cold shut nearly one-third of U.S. production.
The lack of demand from Texas will likely result in a build in crude stocks over the next few weeks, despite 3.5 million bpd of U.S. crude output being shut down.
The front-month WTI price curve fell into a shallow contango of minus 4 cents on Friday.
U.S. crude inventories dropped more than expected in the week ended Feb. 12, with stocks down by 7.3 million barrels to 461.8 million barrels.