Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday was down by more than half as oil and natural-gas operators took precautions following the formation of Tropical Storm Barry. A total of 191 production platforms, or nearly 29% of the manned platforms in the region were evacuated, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said Thursday. Roughly 53% of Gulf oil production and nearly 45% of natural-gas production have been shut in, the BSEE said. Still, oil prices gave up earlier gains ahead of the day’s settlement, as OPEC cut global demand expectations for its oil, citing competition from other producers, including the U.S. August West Texas Intermediate oil CLQ19, -0.10% traded at $60.24 a barrel, down 19 cents, or 0.3%. August natural gas NGQ19, -1.35% shed 3.7 cents, or 1.5%, to trade at $2.407 per million British thermal units.
Oil futures settle lower on Thursday, shrugging off earlier gains even as a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico cuts oil output in the region by more than half. OPEC sees lower demand for its own crude oil next year, citing competition from the U.S.