Crude Oil Futures and Natural Gas Post Gains on Thursday


Crude oil futures continued to rise on Thursday as demand proved strong, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, March West Texas Intermediate crude rose 66 cents, or 1.3%, to settle at $53 a barrel.

On London’s ICE Futures Exchange, April Brent crude, the global benchmark, tacked on 51 cents, or 0.9%, to $55.63 a barrel.

The Energy Information Administration data on crude inventories gave a bearish signal, expanding by 13.8 million barrels last week on rising imports and domestic production.

The latest EIA data also showed domestic crude production increased by 63,000 barrels a day last week to 8.98 million barrels. The uptrend in U.S. crude production threatens a collective effort to reduce global supply.

OPEC and 11 other producers including Russia pledged last year to trim down production by 1.8 million barrels a day to support prices.

Goldman Sachs said data indicated around 85% compliance to the production cuts which were applied at the start of the year.

The EIA predicts domestic production will likely grow by 100,000 barrels a day this year from 2016 and another 500,000 barrels a day by 2018. The EIA also said the oil market is likely to reach a balance between supply and demand this year—earlier than expected.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, March natural gas rose 1.5 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $3.141 per million British thermal units.


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