Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Oil price rises after panic at OPEC

Oil price rises after panic at OPEC

Oil production in Venezuela, which has been rocked by a crippling economic crisis, spiralling political turmoil and U.S. sanctions, meanwhile sank by 59,000 barrels per day.

While US crude production is expected to grow by an amount that exceeds Venezuela's current output, the IEA warned that quantity is not the only important issue.

US crude futures were up $1.07 to $54.17 a barrel.

Estimates for how much crude is needed from OPEC were lowered by 300,000 bpd from last month's assessment amid surging supplies from its rivals, driven by the USA shale boom.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $53.66 per barrel, up 56 cents, or 1.1 percent, from their last close.

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The bank also said that crude supply was being disrupted by us sanctions that kicked in last month on Venezuela's oil exports.

"With so far no sign of change in government, we see increasing risks that production losses could be larger and sooner than our forecast for a 0.33 million-bpd supply loss in 2019", United States bank Goldman Sachs said in a note on Wednesday.

Goldman said it remains "cautious" on the price outlook for the second half of 2019 as it expects a decline in the marginal cost of production.

The U.S., Venezuela's biggest customer, is banning oil imports from the country as it condemns President Nicolas Maduro for fraudulently clinging to power after disputed elections.

The U.S. administration likely calculated any fallout from sanctions on oil prices would be small given the limited volumes of crude involved and the expectation that the standoff would be resolved quickly.

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This is because the output restrictions agreed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, which include Russian Federation, have resulted in mainly heavy and medium sour crude grades being cut.

It also slightly downgraded its forecast for growth in global demand in 2019 from 1.29 million barrels per day to 1.24 million. In quality terms, it is more complicated.

A 24-nation alliance known as OPEC+ that formed two years ago has just started another round of output curbs to prevent a supply glut. It has been extended several times and, under the latest deal, participants are cutting output by 1.2 million bpd until the end of June.

Venezuela sanctions have arrived in a market that was already likely to be short of medium and heavy crudes because of USA sanctions on Iran and OPEC's output cuts. Most recently he worked with TradeTheNews.com, where he provided market analysis on economic data and corporate news.

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