UPDATE 9-Oil up more than 4% as U.S. stockpiles fall, hurricane hits output


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    * U.S. crude stockpiles fall to their lowest since April
    * A quarter of U.S. Gulf of Mexico output offline
    * OPEC+ panel meets on Thursday to discuss supply pact

 (Updates prices, market activity and comments to settlement)
    By Laila Kearney
    NEW YORK, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Oil prices jumped more than 4%
on Wednesday, following a drawdown in U.S. crude and gasoline
inventories and as Hurricane Sally forced a swath of U.S.
offshore production to shut.   
    Brent crude  LCOc1  settled at $42.22 a barrel, up $1.69, or
4.2%. U.S. crude  CLc1  finished $1.88, or 4.9%.at $40.16 a
    U.S. crude stocks fell 4.4 million barrels last week to 496
million barrels, their lowest since April, the U.S. Energy
Information Administration said, compared with analysts'
expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.3 million-barrel rise,
    U.S. gasoline stocks fell 400,000 barrels, the EIA said,
more than double the draw forecast, while refining utilization
rates ticked up 4 percentage points. 
    "Today’s strong gains were largely attributable to bullish
crude guidance out of the EIA release," said Jim Ritterbusch of
Ritterbusch and Associates. 
    "The bulk of the (crude) stock decline was driven by an
unexpectedly large upswing in U.S. refinery activity led by the
Gulf Coast," he said.
    Sally, which made landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast as a
Category 2 hurricane, also boosted oil prices as more than a
quarter of offshore output shut due to the storm.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2GD0GO 
    Roughly 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of offshore crude oil
production was taken offline in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico,
according to the U.S. Interior Department, roughly a third of
the shut-ins caused by Hurricane Laura, which landed farther
west in August. 
    Oil collapsed to historic lows as the coronavirus crisis hit
demand. A record supply cut by OPEC and its allies, a grouping
known as OPEC+, and an easing of lockdowns have helped Brent
recover from a 21-year low below $16 in April. 
    Prices have sunk in September, pressured by rising
coronavirus cases and concerns about demand. 
    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and
International Energy Agency both cut their demand outlooks this
week.  IEA/M  OPEC/M 
    A panel of OPEC+ oil ministers meets to review the supply
pact on Thursday and is unlikely to recommend further output
curbs despite the price drop, sources told Reuters.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2GB4OE

CHART: U.S. oil may test resistance at $38.99     urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2GD0M0
CHART: Brent oil may extend gains to $41.19      urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2GD0J8
GRAPHIC: Global Oil Supply    https://tmsnrt.rs/3bXxeuq
 (Reporting by Laila Kearney in New York
Additional reporting by Alex Lawler, Aaron Sheldrick and Jessica
Editing by Marguerita Choy and Matthew Lewis)
+1 (917) 809-0054))

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