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Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower As Supply Concerns Ease

Crude oil prices fell sharply on Friday on easing worries about supply disruption in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and lowering of oil demand forecast for 2022 by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Oil prices moved higher earlier in the week, buoyed by the International Energy Agency's report that higher natural gas prices could prompt more energy consumers to switch to oil for year-end heating purposes.

OPEC has lowered its oil demand expectations by 260,000 barrels per day from its previous forecast for the year. The OPEC now expects demand to rise by 3.1 million bpd this year.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended lower by $2.25 or about 2.4% at $92.09 a barrel.

Brent crude futures were down $1.65 or 1.66% at $97.95 a barrel a little while ago.

Despite today's losses, the WTI futures and Brent futures both gained more than 3.5% in the week.

Meanwhile, a report from Baker Hughes today said oil rigs count in the U.S. rose by three to 601 this week.

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