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Crude oil futures settled notably lower on Thursday amid worries about outlook for energy demand due to a surge in coronavirus cases in several countries.

The return of output in Mexico also weighed on oil prices. Pemex said it has restored nearly 20% of the more than 400,000 bpd in oil production it lost due to a fire that erupted on an offshore platform on Sunday.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended down by $0.94 or about 1.4% at $67.42 a barrel.

WTI futures had gained about 1.2% on Wednesday after data from Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude inventories in the U.S. fell by about 3 million barrels in the week ended August 21, falling for a third straight week.

Brent crude futures are currently down $1.03 or 1.45% at $70.25 a barrel.

Meanwhile, according to reports, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron have started evacuating non-essential personnel from offshore U.S. Gulf of Mexico platforms ahead of a storm expected to enter the Gulf this weekend.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm could become a major hurricane and strike the U.S. Gulf Coast by Sunday.


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