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Oil Drops With Upcoming Refiner Maintenance a Warning for Demand

  • Fall refinery work is expected to weaken consumption
  • A stronger dollar is also weighing on crude oil futures
A Marathon Petroleum Refinery Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
Updated on

Oil tumbled to the lowest level in more than three weeks with the expectation that refinery demand for crude will weaken in the fall and as investors sought refuge in a stronger dollar.

Futures in New York declined 2.9% on Wednesday. While a U.S. government report showed shrinking domestic crude and gasoline inventories, many refineries will soon halt operations to conduct maintenance. Such work is typically carried out in the fall to coincide with a downturn in summertime fuel consumption. It’s a reminder to investors that both oil and gasoline demand, already depressed from a pandemic-driven lull in travel, may further weaken.