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Oil Updates – Crude Rises; Moldova blames Gazprom; US drillers add oil and gas rigs

RIYADH: Oil prices rose moderately on Friday as hopes of stronger Chinese demand and a weaker U.S. dollar outweighed worries about a global economic slowdown and the impact of rising interest rates. interest on fuel consumption.

To fight inflation, the U.S. Federal Reserve is trying to slow the economy and will continue to raise its short-term rate target, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker said Thursday in remarks that weighed on oil.

The price of Brent is currently $93.50 a barrel, up $1.12 or 1.2%.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $85.05 a barrel, up 54 cents, 0.6%.

Moldova concerned about Gazprom’s position

Moldova’s pro-Western government complained on Friday that Russia’s Gazprom was not behaving like a serious partner, given its refusal to tell Chisinau how much natural gas it would supply in November.

One of the poorest countries in Europe, Moldova depends on Russian gas and has been hit by a price spike since Russia invaded Ukraine. Moldova’s contract with Gazprom fluctuates monthly depending on the spot market price of gas and oil.

Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said he asked Gazprom export chief Elena Burmistrova how much gas Moldova would receive in November, and she replied, “We’ll see.”

Gazprom has already cut October supplies by 30% and said it could cut gas completely unless Moldova pays all its debts to the company.

“Gazprom says it’s a serious partner, but serious partners don’t behave the way it behaves towards Moldova,” Spinu told online news service NewsMaker.

“I don’t understand Gazprom’s motives for cutting the gas supply. We have a contract and we are ready to pay for the gas,” he said.

U.S. oil and gas rigs rise for second straight week

U.S. energy companies this week added oil and gas rigs for the second week as relatively high oil prices encourage companies to drill more.

The number of oil and gas rigs, an early indicator of future production, rose by two to 771 in the week ending Oct. 21, its highest since March 2020, the energy services company said Friday. Baker Hughes Co. in its closely followed report.

Baker Hughes said the total number of platforms increased by 229, or 42%, compared to the same period last year.

US oil rigs rose by two to 612 this week, their highest level since March 2020, while gas rigs were unchanged at 157.

Even though the number of rigs has mostly increased over the past two years, weekly increases have been in the single digits for months.

Additionally, oil production remained below pre-pandemic record levels as many companies focused more on getting money back to investors and paying down debt rather than increasing production.

(Contributed by Reuters)

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