Oil prices rise on ongoing OPEC-led supply cuts

14 March, 2019, 10:25 | Author: Regina Silva
  • The International Energy Agency

Crude oil prices have been trending higher today on the back of falling Venezuelan and Iranian production, squeezed by US sanctions, and also thanks to an update from Saudi Arabia that it plans to continue cutting its production deeper than it agreed on last December to support prices.

At the time of writing, Brent crude traded at US$67.29 a barrel, with WTI at US$57.85 a barrel.

Oil futures rallied about 2 percent on Wednesday as US crude inventories unexpectedly fell and an official forecast of crude oil supply growth from the world's top producer was revised lower.

Brent crude futures were at $65.04 per barrel, up 30 cents, or 0.5 per cent.

America will add 4m barrels per day (bpd) of oil, mostly from the prolific Permian Basin in Texas.

Both benchmarks settled at their highest levels since mid-November.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday, lifted by healthy demand and output cuts led by producer group OPEC.

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"US oil consumption [growth] a year ago was about a half-million barrels per day, and as such it was the highest in all the countries around", Birol noted on Monday. The EIA also revised down its projected 2020 production figure.

"While the revision is small, the comforting part for bulls was that the direction of the revision was down rather than up", Harry Tchilinguirian, global oil strategist at BNP Paribas in London, told the Reuters Global Oil Forum.

Crude rallied this year after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OEPC) and its allies including Russian Federation, a group known as OPEC+, returned to supply cuts as of January 1.

Venezuela's worst blackout on record has left most of the country without power for six days, with hospitals struggling to keep equipment running, food rotting in the tropical heat and exports from the main oil terminal stranded. USA crude shipments are projected to stand at 8.93 million barrels a day in five years - just 0.59 million less that Riyadh, and 0.24 million barrels more than Moscow.

"The ministers reviewed various Saudi investment proposals in the Indian oil and gas sector, including the urgent steps to be taken to expedite the implementation of the first joint venture West Coast Refinery and Petrochemical Project in Maharashtra, estimated to cost the United States $44 billion, which will be the largest greenfield refinery in the world", a government statement said on Sunday.

The was one of the major talking points in a meeting between Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and his Saudi counterpart and the chairman of Saudi Aramco, Khalid A Al-Falih, in New Delhi on Saturday.

Markets have been further tightened by the implementation of USA sanctions against oil exports from OPEC-members Iran and Venezuela.

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