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Oil slips as Gaza talks ease supply worries; Hurricane Beryl in focus

Oil field with rigs and pumps at sunset.

Anton Petrus | Moment | Getty Images

Oil prices slid on Monday after rising for four weeks, as the prospect of a ceasefire deal in Gaza eased tensions in the Middle East, while investors assessed potential disruption to U.S. energy supplies from Hurricane Beryl.

Brent crude futures were down 87 cents, or 1%, at $85.67 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $82.15 a barrel, down $1, or 1.2%.

Talks over a U.S. ceasefire plan aimed at ending the nine-month-old war in Gaza are under way and being mediated by Qatar and Egypt.

“If anything concrete comes from the ceasefire talks, it will take some of geopolitical bid out of the market for now,” said IG analyst Tony Sycamore based in Sydney.

The ports of Corpus Christi, Houston, Galveston, Freeport and Texas City closed on Sunday to prepare for Hurricane Beryl, which is expected to make a landfall in the middle of the Texas coast between Galveston and Corpus Christi later on Monday.

“Weekly settlement prices suggest that investors liked what they saw in spite of the pre-weekend profit-taking in oil, which continues this morning on the prospect of the resumption of ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas and the closure of Texan ports”, said PVM analyst Tamas Varga.

Port closures could bring a temporary halt to crude and liquefied natural gas exports, oil shipments to refineries and motor fuel deliveries from those plants.

“While this puts some offshore oil and gas production at risk, the concern when the storm makes landfall is the potential impact it could have on refinery infrastructure,” ING analysts led by Warren Patterson said in a note.

WTI gained 2.1% last week after data from the Energy Information Administration showed stockpiles for crude and refined products fell in the week ended June 28.

IG’s Sycamore said there is also a good chance of U.S. data showing another large weekly draw in U.S. oil inventories amid peak driving season.

Investors were also watching for any impact from elections in the UK, France and Iran last week on geopolitics and energy policies.

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