Crude oil prices were down on Monday as energy companies started to resume production in the US Gulf of Mexico following Hurricane Delta.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $42.41 per barrel at 0631 GMT for a 1.03% decrease after closing Friday at $42.85 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $40.16 a barrel at the same time for a 1.08% decrease after ending the previous session at $40.60 per barrel.
Oil prices declined after the downgrading of Hurricane Delta to a post-tropical cyclone by Sunday and following the return of US energy firm crews to offshore platforms along the Gulf of Mexico.
However, after the hurricane disrupted power supplies, the largest US refined products pipeline system, the Colonial pipeline, shut its main distillate fuel transit
The ending of a 10-day strike that threatened to cut Norway's oil and gas output by close to 25% supported further price declines.
Norwegian Oil and Gas Association and some labor officials met with a state-appointed mediator on Friday, which struck a wage bargain resolving the strike that had affected production in Norway.
Lingering concerns over a second wave of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continue to exert pressure on prices, signaling that economic recovery in the short term is not in sight and compelling investors to prepare for a decline in demand. The number of COVID-19 deaths worldwide is now close to 1.1 million, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
Moreover, as an indicator of short-term production in the country, the number of US oil rigs rose by four to 193 last week compared to the previous week, signaling greater output and raising oversupply concerns.
Political risk and oil analyst Jose Chalhoub said that further oil price drops would be most likely as Libya is set to add 355,000 barrels per day to the market while oil production on the Gulf coast is set to resume after the subsiding of storms.
Chalhoub also noted the "not so optimistic" short-term oil outlook, adding that overall demand recovery is unlikely with the second wave of COVID-19, which is now hitting Europe.
By Firdevs Yuksel