Oil futures traded higher Monday, resuming a push to the upside as traders looked for a slow recovery in output following winter storms that knocked U.S. producers and refineries offline.
West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery rose 62 cents, or 1%, to $59.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. April WTI, the most-actively traded contract, was up 54 cents, or 0.9%, at $59.80 a barrel. April Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 51 cents, or 0.8%, at $63.42 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, while the most-active May contract was up 49 cents, or 0.8%, at $62.62. a barrel.
Crude futures spiked to more-than-one-year highs early last week as winter storms knocked out crude output, while also throwing a spate of refineries in Texas offline. Oil gave back those gains by the end of the week on expectations output would soon be restored.
But analysts said uncertainty over the timetable for restoring production has helped to buoy prices to begin the week.
“With prices in the US back around $60, it is likely to take some time for U.S. output to return to any sort of normal as engineers wrestle with the problems of ice damage to various infrastructure items,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, in a note. “These problems would suggest that output may take longer to resume to normal levels than would ordinarily be the case.”