It's the second severe storm to hit the region in recent weeks, following Hurricane Ida, which killed more than two dozen people and destroyed neighborhoods near New Orleans in August. Oil prices climbed on Tuesday, extending gains as Hurricane Nicholas weakened into a tropical storm and the International Energy Agency predicted a rebound in demand for the rest of the year.
After hitting a session high of $74.28 at 11:20 a.m. EDT (1520 GMT), Brent crude was up 21 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $73.72 a barrel by 11:20 a.m. EDT (1520 GMT). After hitting a high of $71.22, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 21 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $70.66. Both contracts have been trading at their highest levels since early August for three straight sessions. Nicholas is the second big storm to hit the Gulf Coast of the United States in recent weeks, having made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on Monday night. The Gulf of Mexico is still recovering from Hurricane Ida, with more than 40% of its oil and gas production shut down on Monday due to damage to offshore infrastructure caused by the strong Category 4 hurricane.
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