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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery lost 35 cents to $43.04 on the New York Merc, while Brent for October lost 55 cents to $45.09 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $11.75 to WTI, down from a discount of $11.50. Natural gas for September shot up 12 cents to $2.58. The TSX energy index added a fraction to close at 81.57.
The energy industry is assessing damages caused by Hurricane Laura, which made landfall this morning in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, one the most powerful ones ever to strike the United States. U.S. Gulf producers had already suspended nearly 1.6 million barrels of oil a day (84 per cent of the region's output) in preparation for the storm. As well, seven refineries with a total of 2.34 million barrels a day of capacity were taken off-line. As of this writing, it is too early to gauge the damage to the region's infrastructure, although the general sense is that the storm is unlikely to cause major fuel shortages or supply disruptions. The hardest-hit regions of Louisiana and Texas can rely on stored oil or on other regions to pick up the slack.
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