Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Oil rises 1 percent on signs of tightening global oil supply

Oil Holds Gains on Signs of Shale Slowdown as OPEC Output FallsMore Oil Holds Gains on Signs of Shale Slowdown as OPEC Output FallsMore
Laurie Berry | 07 February, 2019, 14:55

Another factor behind the oil market rally is the supply cuts imposed by the member-states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied oil producers.

Oil prices fell on Thursday after US crude inventories rose and as production levels in the country held at record levels, but OPEC-led supply cuts and Washington's sanctions against Venezuela supported markets.

Gasoline stocks, however, “continue to climb higher on the East Coast amid strong imports, resulting in a build on the aggregate despite a drop on the Gulf Coast, while distillate stocks have also eased amid lower refinery activity and higher implied demand, ” he said.

Weighing on oil markets, US government data showed new orders for USA -made goods unexpectedly fell in November, with sharp declines in demand for machinery and electrical equipment.

The European Union is considering imposing more sanctions on the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro but has not discussed an oil embargo, Malta's foreign minister said on Monday.

Oil prices trade higher year to date, with WTI front-month contract prices up about 19%.

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs increased during the week ending February 1, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

Federal Prosecutors Reportedly Subpoena Trump Inaugural Committee
USA law prohibits foreign contributions to federal campaigns, political action committees, and inauguration committees . Before he became one of Trump's biggest financial supporters, Zuberi was a major Democratic donor and bundler.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $55.13 per barrel, down 13 cents, or 0.24 percent, from their last settlement.

International Brent crude oil futures were at $62.05 per barrel, up 7 cents, after closing down 0.8 percent in the previous session. Brent reached $63.63 a barrel, the highest since December 7, while WTI climbed to $55.75 a barrel, the strongest since November 21.

"You have the sanctions on Venezuela, on top of the reduced supply from Saudi Arabia", Olivier Jakob, oil analyst at Petromatrix, said as cited by Reuters. "There's no sign of overhang in the crude oil markets".

A flotilla loaded with Venezuelan oil has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, some holding cargoes bought ahead of the latest US sanctions on Venezuela and others whose buyers are weighing who to pay.

USA energy firms last week cut the number of oil rigs operating to their lowest in eight months as some drillers followed through on plans to spend less on new wells this year.

According to latest OPEC forecasts, global oil demand will grow by 1.29mn bpd in 2019, the lowest rate of growth since 2013.

US President Donald Trump last week said he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, perhaps twice, in the coming weeks to try to seal a comprehensive trade deal with Beijing, but acknowledged it was not yet clear whether a deal could be reached.

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