Wednesday, October 20, 2021
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Oil rises on high natural gas expectation to drive heating switch

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TOKYO – Oil prices rose on Thursday, reversing previous losses, on expectations that high natural gas prices as winter approaches could drive a switch to oil to meet the needs of heating demand.

Brent crude futures rose 28 cents, or 0.3%, to $ 83.46 a barrel at 0107 GMT after falling 0.3% on Wednesday.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 22 cents, or 0.3%, to $ 80.66 a barrel, after falling 0.3% the day before.

“Investors are betting that rising gas prices will encourage power generators to switch to oil as the winter demand season approaches,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities.

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Prices were also supported by concerns about supply shortages after the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday that crude oil production in the United States, the world’s largest producer, will decline in 2021 more than previously forecast, it was thought to rebound. in 2022.

“The current tension in the crude market and the short-term outlook for increases in seasonal demand supported investor sentiment, outpacing a larger-than-expected rise in US crude inventories and a weaker forecast forecast. by OPEC, “Kikukawa said.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) said late Wednesday that US crude stocks rose by 5.2 million barrels during the week ending in October. 8, according to market sources who saw the API data.

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The API also reported that gasoline inventories fell 4.6 million barrels and distillate inventories fell 2.7 million barrels, the sources said.

Analysts in a Reuters poll expected crude inventories to rise by 700,000 barrels.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut its forecast for global oil demand growth for 2021 in its latest monthly report on Wednesday, keeping its vision of 2022.

However, the producer group said that rising natural gas prices could boost demand for petroleum products as end-users switch fuels.

The EIA will release its inventory report later on Thursday at 11am EDT (1500 GMT). (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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