Oil prices higher amid storm warnings in the Gulf of Mexico

Just over 150,000 barrels of daily crude productionin the Gulf of Mexico is currently shut-in due to storm precautions.

oil barrels in a stack
Brent up 0.35% to US$49.45, while WTI changing hands at US$47.30.

Tropical storm fears helped push crude prices into positive territory on Tuesday but traders hoping a real wind of change continue to wait for OPEC.

Just over 150,000 barrels of daily crude productionin the Gulf of Mexico is currently shut-in  due to storm precautions.

In London trading Brent crude was up just 0.35% to change hands around US$49.45 while West Texas Intermediary futures added 0.65% to US$47.30 per barrel.

It comes as market remain hopeful for OPEC support, with speculation continuing to talk up wishful thinking that the cartel could reach some kind of agreement to ease oversupply at meetings later this month.

Elsewhere the sectors cyclical fundamentals were underlined by a new statistical report which seemingly showed 2015 as really bad year for exploration.

Oil firms found only a tenth of the crude that they would ordinarily discovery in a normal year.

It is the result of oil companies slashing budgets for exploration as they tried conserve cash and stay alive through he sharp downturn.

The somewhat unsurprising factoid adds further context to the longer term trends in the market – that over a longer timeframe oil demand is expected to be strong, and that new reserves continually need to be unearthed.

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