WTI Crude Oil and Natural Gas Forecast

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United States oil prices extended gains on Wednesday after industry data showed a surprise decline in U.S. crude inventories.

Brent crude rose 63 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to settle at $81.41 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude ended the session up 14 cents at $71.92 a barrel.

The rise, reported by the US Energy Information Administration was nearly triple what analysts had forecast and further eased prices, which had hit four-year highs of $86.74 earlier this month.

Oil markets are also grappling with record USA output, fueled by shale production, and America's removal in late 2015 of longstanding crude-export limits.

In other oil-related news, a monthly report from the Energy Information Administration on Monday projected crude output from seven major USA shale plays would rise 98,000 barrels a day in November to 7.714 million barrels a day.

With the world's only sizable spare oil output capacity, Saudi Arabia is expected to export more to offset the loss of Iranian oil supply from the sanctions.

Inventories rose sharply even as USA crude production slipped 300,000 bpd to 10.9 million bpd last week, which analysts attributed to the effects of offshore facilities closing temporarily for Hurricane Michael.

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Tensions have flared between the US and Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist with the Washington Post who was critical of the Middle East nation.

The debate over this possibility is certain to get the market's attention, as are the swings and roundabouts connected with the story, such as the apparent soft-pedalling of the possible murder by U.S. President Donald Trump. The new round of US sanctions against Tehran are set to start in November 4.

Saudi Arabia has denied it was responsible for the disappearance of Khashoggi.

Falih also said Saudi Arabia wants to invest in Indian downstream projects and strategic oil storage. Electric vehicles, he pointed out, are in the passenger vehicle segment, which accounts for only a quarter of oil demand.

"This has raised concerns that the Saudis may use oil as a tool for retaliation if any sanctions or other action is taken against it", Patterson said.

Flows from Iran could drop by 2 million barrels a day, to below 1 million barrels day in November and possibly December, Energy Aspects Ltd. said in a report dated October 1.

But Jahangiri's remarks are indirect acknowledgment that Iran's oil exports have been effectively cut in half from a peak of about 2.5 million barrels a day in April as customers fled in anticipation of the US sanctions.