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Crude Oil Prices Settle Higher on Supply Disruption Fears – Crude oil prices settled higher on Thursday as a threatened strike in Nigeria and growing Middle East political tensions stoked fears of supply disruptions, while ongoing OPEC-led output curbs supported sentiment.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for January delivery rose 1.3% to settle at $56.69 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 1.5% to trade at $62.12 a barrel.

One of Nigeria’s two main oil unions on Thursday threatened to launch a nationwide strike from Dec. 18 should the government fail to force the management of domestic oil and gas companies to recall laid-off union members.

That added to fears of potential supply disruptions in the wake of growing Middle East political tensions after Saudi Arabia called for a review of US President Donald Trump’s decision to direct the State Department to begin preparations to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The rebound in oil prices comes a day after crude settled nearly 3% lower on data showing US inventories of refined fuel rose sharply last week, pointing to possible weakness in demand. The uptick in gasoline supplies offset a larger-than-expected draw in crude stockpiles which fell for a third straight week, while U.S. crude production rose to a weekly record.

US oil production rose to its highest since the early 1980s as data US producers ramp up production to 9.7 million barrels per day last week. day last week.

Sentiment on crude oil remained bullish as market participants continue to expect output-led production curbs would rein in excess global supplies to OPEC’s five year-average.

{{|0Goldman Sachs}} earlier this week, raised its 2018 oil forecast for Brent to $62, and WTI to $57.50, on expectations for ongoing strong OPEC compliance with the deal to curb output.

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