Crude Oil Prices Start the Week a Touch Lower

Oil price gains have also been supported by anticipated renewed demand from US refiners that were resuming operations after shutdowns due to Hurricane Harvey.

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to keep the price for its Arab Light crude for loading to Asia in November little changed despite stronger benchmark prices for Middle East oil, trade sources said on Monday.

US energy companies added oil rigs for the first time in seven weeks.

Global benchmark Brent crude for December delivery was down 23 cents, or 0.4 per cent, at $56.56 a barrel; while United States crude was down 14 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $51.53 a barrel.

This, coupled with the reality of more oil being extracted this year and again the next, combined with the low price of its extractions, is prompting investors to pour money into the area. Higher rig counts could indicate future production gains at a time when crude oil inventory levels are moving closer to the five-year average.

According to the Houston Chronicle, 2.4 million barrels of oil a day were drawn from the West Texas Permian basin in 2016.

West Texas Intermediate, the USA crude benchmark, ended the quarter 12.2% higher, snapping a two-quarter losing streak and marking the biggest quarterly gain since the second quarter of 2016.

Iran has banned the transportation of oil products by Iranian companies to and from Iraq's Kurdistan region, reported a leading worldwide news channel.

Mounting fears over the potential fallout from the independence referendum in the oil-rich Kurdish region of Iraq have provided further support in recent weeks.

"With these three key oil producing countries reaching possible inflection points next month against a backdrop of tightening balances, geopolitics may be set to stage something of a comeback in the oil markets", the report read.

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