Energy Stocks Under Pressure From Hurricane Irma

Irma, which is the second hurricane to approach United States in two weeks, could knock out refineries and cause fuel shortages in the next few days.

Oil prices rose on Friday as USA crude production was hit harder by Hurricane Harvey than expected, with the even bigger storm Irma heading for Florida and threatening to cause more disruption to the petroleum industry.

Here are three stocks that are not weathering the storm so well. Brent crude was down 71 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $53.78 a barrel after reaching its highest level since April at $54.87.

Both benchmarks remained on track for slight weekly gains.

Traders said it would take weeks for the USA petroleum industry to return to full capacity, and that under the current conditions it was hard to identify fundamental market trends.

"Hurricanes can have a lasting effect on refinery and industry demand", said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

A Canadian nurse now living in Florida is bracing for a busy next few days of caring for the sick and wounded as Hurricane Irma bears down on the USA coast.

"Irma looks like it will miss the key Gulf areas, and we're more anxious about shale", said Mark Watkins, regional investment manager at U.S. Bank.

Port and refinery closures along the Gulf coast and harsh sea conditions in the Caribbean have also impacted shipping.

"The oil market was little changed, as the recovery from Hurricane Harvey stalled at the same time that Hurricane Irma threatened to disrupt the sector in Florida", ANZ bank said.

A Canadian nurse now living in Florida is determined to stand her ground when Hurricane Irma hits the Sunshine State on Sunday.

Late in the week, oil futures traded mixed, with Brent rising to a 5-1/2 month high while USA crude slipped on a bigger-than-expected crude stock build as the restart of US refiners after Hurricane Harvey was countered by the threat of Hurricane Irma.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Irma was still a Category 5 Hurricane, with wind speeds of 175 miles per hours (280 km/h).

After cutting seven rigs in August, the first monthly reduction since May 2016, drillers cut three oil rigs in the week to September 8, bringing the total count down to 756, energy services firm Baker Hughes energy services firm said.

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