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Oil prices edge lower, tightening supply outlook supports

08 February, 2019, 00:25 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Oil Slides on Disappointing U.S. Data After Hitting Two-Month High

"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".

"Also underpinning the market is strong adherence to the OPEC-led supply cuts during January", reports OilPrice.com.

Venezuela's oil exports fell to a 10-month low in January following new sanctions on the nation's state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA that effectively block Maduro's regime from exporting crude to the U.S.

International Brent crude oil futures were at $62.05 per barrel, up 7 cents, after closing down 0.8 percent in the previous session. While sanctions on Venezuela and Iran are supportive of prices, investors are wary before U.S.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 13 cents at $53.53.

US inventories of winter fuels, including propane, shrank by about 4.9 million barrels combined last week, EIA data showed Wednesday.

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"The large draws in distillate ... made sure that commercial oil inventories fell for the second week, this time by 3.4 million barrels", he said. Production last month declined to 11.38 million barrels per day (bpd), but that was only down by 35,000 bpd from its October 2018 level that is the baseline for the pact.

About a dozen tankers carrying over 7 million barrels of Venezuelan crude and products were anchored this week at the U.S Gulf Coast waiting for directions on how to pay for the cargoes following the sanctions, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

Oil steadied on Thursday as growing expectations that global supply could fall significantly short of demand this year lent support, offsetting the negative impact of a rise in U.S. inventories. -China meetings next week ahead of a March 1 deadline for trade tariffs to rise. Oil fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion almost stalled in January.

The producers known as OPEC+ began cutting production from last month to avert a new supply glut and OPEC has delivered nearly three-quarters of its pledged cutback already, according to a Reuters survey.

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.

Traders are still anxious about the global economic slowdown especially because of the uncertainty surrounding the U.S.

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