October crude oil prices were higher during the early morning hours, supported by a rally in global equity markets, US Dollar weakness and reduced Gulf of Mexico production. Some traders suggested that the crude oil market also drafted a level of support on estimates that this week's EIA inventory report might show a decline in crude stocks leading up to Tropical Storm Lee. So far, Gulf of Mexico oil production has been slow to return to full capacity, and that has offered another level of support to the October contract. The latest estimates from the US Minerals Management Service estimated that a little more than 60% of the region's production was shut in. Meanwhile, the differential between Brent and WTI crude oil established a new record wide level Tuesday, which boosted the premium of various grades of Gulf of Mexico crude oil relative to the NYMEX contract.
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