Oil Down As US Storm Worries Fade, Snuffing Early Rally
NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell more than 1 percent on Thursday as the government's storm monitor altered forecasts for the path of the latest U.S. hurricane, snuffing out an early rally that was prompted by fears of storm damage to U.S. East Coast oil installations.
Heightened geopolitical risk from the worsening conflict in Syria had also boosted crude prices in Thursday's early trade.
"We don't see either item as deserving of much premium given the sizable supply surplus of both crude and products that will provide cushion against any temporary supply disruptions," said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch & Associates, an oil markets consultancy in North Wabash, Chicago.
Hurricane Joaquin, which strengthened into a powerful Category 3 storm and was moving over the Bahamas, is expected to hit land about 100 miles east of New York City in eastern Long Island as a tropical storm, a revised forecast by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) showed.
Traders watch Atlantic hurricanes because the storms can lead to precautionary shutdowns of oil facilities, and in exceptional cases, like Hurricane Sandy in 2012, damage energy infrastructure.
Energy firms said they are on alert for Hurricane Joaquin but not shutting facilities yet as its forecast track was uncertain.
Earlier, the NHC had predicted the storm would hit the New Jersey coast and New York Harbor, home to several oil refineries, pipelines and other energy infrastructure.
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