US Crude Up 4% On Lower Stockpile Bets; Brent Spread Narrows


NEW YORK, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Oil prices rallied on Monday, with U.S crude surging more than 4 percent on signs of declining stockpiles, less drilling that could reduce future output and a jump in gasoline futures that boosted the overall petroleum complex.

Global oil benchmark Brent gained 3 percent. Its premium over U.S. crude <CL-LCO1=R> narrowed to below the key psychological mark of $2 a barrel as U.S. crude's fundamentals improved relative to Brent.

Market intelligence firm Genscape estimated a draw of nearly 810,000 barrels in the week ending Sept. 15 from storage tanks at Cushing, Oklahoma, the main delivery point for U.S. crude futures, traders who have seen the data said.

Cushing stocks fell nearly 2 million barrels in the week to Sept. 11, the biggest draw since February 2014, U.S. government data showed.

A Reuters poll on Monday forecast that U.S. crude inventories as a whole fell by 2.1 million barrels last week.

Crude traders also focused on the soon-to-expire front-month contract in the West Texas Intermediate (WTI), which serves as the U.S. benchmark. WTI's October contract will go off the NYMEX board after Tuesday's settlement, and November will move up as the front-month.

Gasoline futures, meanwhile, rose more than 3 percent after a fire reported on Saturday at an unit of Husky Energy's 155,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery in Lima, Ohio.


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