Oil prices nears $56

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Oil prices moved close to $56 yesterday, remaining near multi-month highs reached late last week.

The number of United States (U.S.) rigs drilling for new production fell and refineries continued to start up after getting knocked out by Hurricane Harvey.

Analysts say this is good for Nigeria economy that has just exited recession as the 2017 crude oil budget benchmark for this year’s budget is $44.5.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose to $50.0 per barrel, and close to the more than three-month high of $50.50 reached last Thursday.

Brent crude futures, benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S. were at $55.71 a barrel, up nine cents and not far from the almost five-month high of $55.99 touched on Thursday. Brent was $56 on Wednesday.

“Demand forecasts from OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) and IEA (International Energy Agency)… continued to improve sentiment in the market. Refineries are also reporting a much better recovery from the recent hurricanes,” ANZ bank said on Monday.

Royal Dutch Shell’s Deer Park refinery in Texas was among the latest, beginning its restart on Sunday. The plant can process 325,700 barrels per day.

The refinery restarts are occurring “as signs emerge of stalling growth in the US shale industry. The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. fell sharply last week,” ANZ said.

U.S. energy firms cut seven oil rigs in the week to September 15, bringing the total count down to 749, the fewest since June, energy services company Baker Hughes said on Friday.

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Godwin Okafor is a financial journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and the Founder Naija247news Media Ltd He has over 16 experiences in journalism, which cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career in Business Day, Where he was a senior editorial graphic artist, before he left to start Naija247news, An Online Financial Newspaper in 2010. He has won series of awards and he is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.com and also sits on the board of Students In Business Awards, (SIBA).

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