Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Oil hits four-month highs with support from tightened supply

EIA: The US imports and exports substantial volumes of petroleum Oil Rises Strongly Supported by Cuts, Sanctions
Jean Garcia | 15 March, 2019, 04:26

Brian Stutland, chief investment officer at Equity Armor Investments, said, "We're seeing some supplies tighten a little bit.and also the correlation between oil and the stock market and demand coming back into the picture has sort of driven it: oil lagged a little bit as the dollar strengthened, and I think it's trying to play catch-up".

The underlying bullish view in crude oil remains firm, in the meantime, on the back of the so-called "Saudi put", tight conditions in the U.S. markets (amidst USA net imports in historic low levels and the rising activity in refiners ahead of the summer session), the current OPEC+ agreement to cut oil output and ongoing United States sanctions against Iran and Venezuela crude oil exports.

US crude stocks fell last week as refineries hiked output, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

Production is expected to increase 1.35 million bpd compared to the previous year, but will grow more slowly than the previous forecast of 1.45 million bpd.

"Crude oil continues to grind higher.in response to ongoing production cuts from the OPEC+ group of producers as well as another (output) slump from a blacked-out Venezuela", said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Denmark's Saxo Bank.

OPEC sources have said an extension of the supply-cutting pact is the likely scenario.

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He suggested her damning testimony exposes the Obama-era Justice Department for what it was - a "broken and corrupt machine". Republican lawmakers have pointed to the messages as evidence of political bias inside the bureau.

Oil prices have also received support from supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russian Federation.

Despite the new curbs, market indicators followed by Opec will prolong concerns about excess supply. It kept its forecast for growth in global oil demand this year unchanged at 1.24 million bpd.

Crude oil imports have decreased in recent years as United States crude oil production has increased.

International Brent crude oil futures were at $67.61 a barrel at 0054 GMT, up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their last close.

OPEC cut oil production by 221,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 30.55 million barrels per day in February, according to its monthly report published here on Thursday.

Global benchmark Brent crude rose 0.15 percent to $67.58 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading flat at $58.28 per barrel. OPEC's report said oil inventories in developed economies were above the five-year average in January.

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