Investing.com – Oil prices settled lower on Friday as U.S. refineries continued to recover for a slow pace from the wake of flooding on account of Storm Harvey which kept interest in crude oil subdued.

On the fresh York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for October delivery fell in excess of 3% to be at $47.48 a barrel, throughout London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent lost 1.34% to trade at $53.76 a barrel.

Two weeks after Storm Harvey made landfall for the Texas coast, knocking out one fourth of U.S. oil refining capacity, oil prices continued ahead pressurized as refineries are already slow to restart, weighing when needed for crude oil, the principal input at refineries.

Analysts said, however, which the slowdown in refining and output really should be temporary.

“Most refineries are restarting and now we expect a near-full recovery by month-end,” U.S. investment bank Jefferies said.

Falling crude prices have weighed on U.S. drilling activity over recent weeks, as data showed the volume of U.S. oil rigs fell within the prior week.

Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes said its weekly count of oil rigs operating in the usa declined by 3 to 756.

The weekly rig count is a vital barometer with the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.

The dip in crude demand was reflected in the report from your Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday showing crude stockpiles rose initially in ten weeks.

Inventories of U.S. crude rose by roughly 4.6m barrels while in the week ended Sept. 1, missing expectations of a boost of approximately only 4m barrels.

Meanwhile, investors continued to evaluate the outcome of Hurricane Irma on oil demand. Irma is anticipated to get to Florida by Saturday.