Crude Oil Prices Rise as Storms Zero In on Gulf of Mexico

SINGAPORE (Dispatches) - Crude oil prices rose on Monday as storms closed in on the Gulf of Mexico, shutting more than half its oil production, and on coronavirus optimism after U.S. regulators approved the use of blood plasma from recovered patients as a treatment option.
Brent futures LCOc1 had gained 9 cents, or 0.2%, to $44.44 a barrel by 0634 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was up 9 cents, or 0.2%, to $42.43 a barrel. Both benchmark contracts had risen early on Monday.
On Sunday, Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura tore through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, forcing energy companies to pull workers from offshore platforms and shut down oil output.
Producers had shut 58% of the Gulf’s offshore oil output and 45% of natural gas supply on Sunday. The region accounts for 17% of total U.S. oil production and 5% of U.S. natural gas output.
"Crude prices rose as double trouble in the Atlantic could lead to huge disruptions with oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.