Rising refinery demand: Oil rises to $56

Oil markets were firm on Monday and remained near multi - month highs reached late last week as the number of U . S . rigs drilling for new production fell and refineries continued to start up after getting knocked out by Hurricane Harvey .
U . S . West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at 50 . 0 dollars per barrel at 0547 GMT , and close to the more than three- month high of 50 . 50 dollars reached last Thursday.
Brent crude futures, benchmark for oil prices outside the United States , were at 55 . 71 dollars a barrel , up 9 cents and not far from the almost five- month high of 55 . 99 dollars touched on Thursday. Brent was 56 dollars on Wednesday.
“ Demand forecasts from OPEC and IEA … continued to improve sentiment in the market . Refineries are also reporting a much better recovery from the recent hurricanes , ” ANZ bank said on Monday.
Royal Dutch Shell’ s Deer Park refinery in Texas was among the latest, beginning its restart on Sunday . The plant can process 325 , 700 barrels per day .
The refinery restarts are occurring “ as signs emerge of stalling growth in the U . S . shale industry . The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U . S . fell sharply last week, ” ANZ said.
U . S . energy firms cut seven oil rigs in the week to Sept . 15 , bringing the total count down to 749, the fewest since June , energy services company Baker Hughes said on Friday.
(Reuters/ NAN)