Refineries probably operated at 92.8 percent of capacity on Aug. 1, down 0.7 percentage point from the prior week. The announcement last week that a Coffeyville, Kansas, refinery that gets oil from Cushing may be offline for most of August sent WTI to a four-month low. Brent slipped on reports that Kurdish fighters in Iraq retook border towns seized by Islamic militants.
WTI for September delivery dropped 77 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $97.52 a barrel at 11:09 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $97.09 on Aug. 1, the lowest intraday level since Feb. 5. The volume of all futures traded was 27 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are down 0.6 percent this year.
Brent for September settlement slipped $1, or 1 percent, to $104.41 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volumes were 20 percent higher than the 100-day average. The European benchmark crude traded at a $6.89 premium to WTI, down from $7.12 yesterday.