US Gulf of Mexico oil, gas producers begin restarting after Barry

Florida Gas Prices Decline Despite Barry

Chinese Data Weighs on Oil ETFs

On Monday, WTI crude oil futures for August ended down $0.63, or about 1.1%, at $59.58 a barrel, amid worries over outlook for energy demand growth.

But gains were capped by uncertainty about China's economic prospects after data on Monday showed that growth in the country slowed to 6.2% from a year earlier, the weakest pace in at least 27 years.

Both contracts last week made their biggest weekly gains in three weeks as U.S. oil inventories fell and diplomatic tensions rose in the Middle East.

That industrial output report may have been the silver lining in the batch of data out of the world's second-largest economy Monday and could bode well for oil prices over the near-term.

Barry, which came ashore on Saturday in central Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane, prompted oil companies to shut almost 74 percent of production at U.S. Gulf of Mexico platforms ahead of the storm, the U.S. offshore drilling regulator said.

Oil traded near US$60 a barrel after a storm shut nearly three-quarters of US Gulf of Mexico crude production, even as lingering demand concerns continue to dent the outlook.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said 1.1 million barrels per day of oil, or 58% of the region's total, and 1.4 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas output remained shut. The U.S. benchmark hit a session high of $60.06 earlier.

The first named storm of the season forced the suspension of more than two-thirds of oil output from the Gulf of Mexico, but with the storm past and dissipated over Louisiana, workers were returned to the evacuated platforms. It may possibly take a number of days for full manufacturing to be resumed after a storm leaves the Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile, traders were looking ahead to the weekly inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). USA crude fell 39 cents per barrel to trade at $57.24 a barrel by 11:09 a.m. EDT [1509 GMT], while gasoline futures traded down 0.45 cent to $1.8867 a gallon.

The storm will probably result in a noticeable decline in USA crude oil stocks this week, analysts at Commerzbank said.

Oil rates steadied on Tuesday as a resumption of manufacturing in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Barry and also a boom in UNITED STATE supply from shale oil countered stress in the center East.

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