Crude oil prices are still reacting to the post Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. Crude prices surged as refiners start to come back online and nervous buyers in Asia start to buy up oil supply. Reuters reported that the spread between Brent and WTI is causing some big Asian buying as refinery shutdowns in the aftermath of Harvey pushed the spread between West Texas Intermediate crude and Brent crude to the widest in two years at nearly $6 a barrel.
The U.S. refineries are coming back and believe it or not, so is oil production and gas production. Last week Valero Energy restarted two Galveston refineries and are now back to normal production rates. Yet, just as the industry starts to recover, more storms are going to create havoc.
It was not just the hurricanes that impacted supply as a reported 703,000 barrel drop in Cushing, Okla., helped reduce supply as well. We know that supply will rebound in the coming weeks and the number is supportive but the drawdown in Cushing, Oklahoma is supportive as well. The API also reported a 2.34 million barrel drop in gasoline supply as well as a 944,000 barrel increase in distillate stocks.
Prices for mansions in Houston's swankiest neighborhood have tumbled in lock step with crude prices. The Houston Opera has offered free season tickets to patrons who lost their jobs in the oil bust. A fancy restaurant offers cut-price dinners.