Saturday, 23 February, 2019

U.S. House panel passes bill targeting OPEC oil supply cuts

Oil Slides on Disappointing U.S. Data After Hitting Two-Month High US oil prices edge up as market eyes tighter supply
Kelvin Reese | 08 February, 2019, 02:41

Meanwhile, U.S. sanctions against Venezuela's oil industry are expected to knock out at least 500,000 bpd of crude exports.

Oil fell on Thursday after data showing a rise in USA inventories weighed on sentiment already rattled by the global economy, though prices were buoyed by the prospect that supply could fall short of global demand. Elsewhere, supplies from OPEC face heightened uncertainty after Libya's eastern leader Khalifa Haftar said his forces have taken control of the country's largest oil field.

A day after the American Petroleum Institute disappointed oil bulls by reporting an estimated inventory build across the board, the Energy Information Administration deepened the mood by saying USA crude oil inventories added 1.3 million barrels in the week to February 1.

Brent crude oil futures were last down $0.12 at $62.57 a barrel by 1022 GMT, while U.S. crude futures were down $0.07 at $53.94 a barrel.

Crude oil prices edged lower on Monday after sharp gains during the previous session but were supported by expectations of shrinking supply and signs that China-US trade tensions could ease.

US imports of Venezuelan crude fell 41 percent to 345,000 barrels a day last week, the least since August, according to preliminary EIA data.

The sanctions will sharply limit oil transactions between Venezuela and other countries and are similar to those imposed on Iran a year ago, experts said after examining details posted by the Treasury Department.

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To the south, rain showers will wind down, with a chance of snow showers on the back edge of the precipitation before ending. Tuesday , however, is expected to see sunny skies and a forecast high of 5 C - eight degrees warmer than on Monday.

Distillate fuel inventories last week shed 2.3 million barrels and production averaged 5.1 million barrels per day.

USA gasoline production decreased last week, averaging 9.9 million barrels per day.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russian Federation, agreed to production cuts effective from last month to beat back supply growth.

That focuses yet more attention on the outcome of U.S. -China trade dispute have also weighed on the market. -China trade dispute. Oil prices fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion almost stalled in January. A week earlier, gasoline inventories fell by 2.2 million barrels after four weekly builds, and hefty ones, at that, with production averaging 9.9 million bpd.

"The global oil supply/demand balance could shift from a current significant surplus to zero at the end of the year", Jean-Pierre Durante, an analyst at Pictet Wealth Management, wrote in a report, if producers comply with the decision and extend it until December.

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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