UPDATE 9-Oil settles unchanged as latest storm spares U.S. energy sector


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    * U.S. CPI edged up 0.5% from last year and 0.3% from July
    * IEA sees oil demand rebounding by 1.6 million bpd in
    * China to auction 7.38 mln bbl of crude from strategic

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments
through settlement, adds BSEE data)
    By Laura Sanicola
    Sept 14 (Reuters) - Oil prices ended largely unchanged on
Tuesday as tropical storm Nicholas brought heavy rain and power
outages in Texas but caused less damage to U.S. energy
infrastructure than Hurricane Ida caused earlier this month.
    Brent crude  LCOc1  settled up 9 cents to $73.60 a barrel
after hitting a session high of $74.28. U.S. West Texas
Intermediate (WTI) crude  CLc1  settled up 1 cent, at $70.46,
after touching a high of $71.22. 
    More than 39% of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico's production of
crude and natural gas remained shut on Tuesday, the regulator
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)
said. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2QG251 Nicholas made landfall in Texas on Monday and
was to reach Louisiana on Wednesday, bringing more floods and
heavy rains to the Gulf's oil facilities. 
    "The Gulf situation is not resolving itself quickly," said
John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.
    Royal Dutch Shell  RDSa.L  shut production at an offshore
oil platform due to heavy winds. Vessel traffic at some energy
hubs was halted due to difficult weather conditions.  
    "There's going to be import-export issues because Houston is
in a semi-flood zone," said Bob Yawger, director of energy
futures at Mizuho.
    Nicholas is the second major storm to threaten the U.S. Gulf
region in recent weeks, bringing heavy rains to the Deep South
and causing power outages. Still, most Texas refineries were
operating normally and Texas utilities were restoring power to
customers who suffered outages.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2QF1EY
    The Colonial pipeline, the largest U.S. fuel pipeline,
partially resumed operations after shutting due to a power
outage early in the day.
    Oil turned negative during the session after new data from
the U.S. Labor Department showed inflation cooling and as
worries receded about the storm's impact on the energy
sector. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nnL1N2QG130
    After three months of declining global oil demand, rollouts
of COVID-19 vaccines should rekindle appetite for oil that was
suppressed by pandemic restrictions, especially in Asia, the
International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2QG1FJ 
    The IEA sees a demand rebound of 1.6 million barrels per day
(bpd) in October and continued growth until the end of the year.
    Overall, the agency lowered its 2021 global oil demand
growth forecast by 105,000 bpd to 5.2 million bpd but raised its
2022 figure by 85,000 bpd to 3.2 million bpd. 
    These forecasts are below those of the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which expects demand to
grow by about 5.96 million bpd this year and 4.15 million bpd
next year.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2QF0WB 
    Protesters blocked an oil tanker from loading at the Libyan
terminal of Es Sider on Tuesday, the National Oil Corp's (NOC)
media office and an engineer at the port said.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2QG0NI    
    Details on China's plans to sell crude from strategic
reserves pressured prices. China's state reserves administration
said it would auction about 7.4 million barrels of crude on
Sept. 24.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nP8N2QA03M

Global Oil Demand Growth Forecasts    https://tmsnrt.rs/3twP7Je
 (Additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar in London, Yuka Obayashi
in Tokyo
Editing by Paul Simao, Mark Potter and David Gregorio)

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