It's been a rollercoaster ride of a day for oil investors, who earlier watched prices rise after a report suggested demand is likely to be higher than expected - before prices dipped again, after it was a tropical storm due to make landfall in the US next week will be less intense than expected.
Brent crude rose as high as $49, its highest price in two weeks, after estimates from the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI) showed the amount of oil consumed per day in the first half of this year rose 3.3 per cent from the same period last year, from 69.1m barrels per day to 71.4m.
Those figures also pushed the price of US benchmark WTI crude as high as $47, also its highest in two weeks.
However, reports emerging that Hurricane Joaquin, the storm about to batter the Bahamas with winds of up to 120mph, may weaken to a category one or even tropical storm before it makes landfall on the East Coast of the US next week, put paid to that optimism. The storm was upgraded to a category four hurricane this evening, but it's expected that colder waters around the East Coast will slow it down.
Brent Crude fell more than one per cent to $47.86, while WTI crude fell 0.3 per cent to $44.95.