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Sept. 27, 2021, 2:51 p.m. EDT

U.S. oil prices settle at a nearly 3-year high; natural-gas futures up 11%

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By Myra P. Saefong

Oil futures climbed Monday, with U.S. prices settling at their highest in almost three years. Natural-gas futures, meanwhile, rallied back to their highest level since February 2014. "Both oil and natural gas are expected to continue higher in the months ahead as fundamentals decidedly favor the bulls right now, while momentum and technicals both point to higher prices in the near to medium term," said Tyler Richey, co-editor at Sevens Report Research. U.S. crude inventories have fallen sharply in recent weeks due to the lingering impact of Hurricane Ida on energy operations in the Gulf Coast region. For natural gas, weather is almost always the biggest influence and "with expectations for a very cold winter this year, utilities and physical traders are stockpiling natural gas at a historically elevated rate," said Richey. West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery rose $1.47, or 2%, to settle at $75.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices, based on the front-month contracts, finished at their highest since October 2018, according to Dow Jones Market Data. October natural gas rose 57 cents, or 11%, to settle at $5.706 per million British thermal units --- the highest front-month contract finish since February 2014.

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