Singapore: Oil prices rebounded in Asian trading today as traders kept a close watch on a storm moving toward the Gulf of Mexico and key oil installations, analysts said.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, rose $1.29 to $116.88 a barrel after a drop of $2.56 to $115.59 at the close of trading in New York on Thursday.
Brent North Sea crude for October gained 99 cents to $115.16 a barrel. The contract shed $2.05 to settle at $114.17 on Thursday in London.
“Still we have to worry about the hurricane’s effect on this market,” said Ken Hasegawa, manager of the energy desk at Newedge Japan brokerage in Tokyo.
He said the storm should support prices for up to three more days.
About a quarter of US crude oil installations are located in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tropical Storm Gustav was threatening to regain hurricane strength before entering the Gulf over the weekend. It was expected to make landfall in Louisiana and Texas on Monday, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
British oil group BP and US rivals ConocoPhillips and Shell said they were evacuating workers from their energy installations in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of the storm.
The threat of Gustav raised grim memories of the 2005 hurricanes Katrina and Rita that damaged or destroyed about 165 of about 4,000 oil platforms in the Gulf.