NEW YORK, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices finished lower on Thursday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut demand forecast for its crude oil next year.
The West Texas Intermediate for August delivery fell 0.23 U.S. dollar to settle at 60.20 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for September delivery dropped 0.49 dollar to close at 66.52 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
The demand for OPEC crude is expected to average 29.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2020, down by around 1.3 million bpd from 2019, the oil cartel said in a monthly report released on Thursday.
The report cited an uptrend in production outside the group as a reason, indicating a surplus in supply may return despite an OPEC-led pact to curb output.
Earlier in the session, oil prices had gained as major oil firms began evacuating and halting production in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a storm.
A storm in the Gulf of Mexico has intensified to become Tropical Storm Barry, which could strengthen to a hurricane by the weekend, said the National Hurricane Center.
On Thursday, about 53 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and nearly 45 percent of natural-gas production was shut down as precaution, according to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Enditem