Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Brent crude hits 2019-high amid OPEC supply cuts

Brent crude hits 2019-high amid OPEC supply cuts

For 2020, the government said it expected USA crude oil demand to rise by 220,000 bpd to 21.03 million bpd, unchanged from previous forecasts.

Venezuela's oil output has always been on a downward spiral thanks to years of underinvestment and mismanagement, with stepped-up United States sanctions further trimming exports.

The U.S. bank said January global crude oil demand growth was "nearly 2.0 million barrels per day, with strength visible in both emerging markets and developed economies".

USA crude oil demand in 2019 is expected to rise by 360,000 barrels to 20.81 million barrels per day, a former Energy Information Administration (EIA) for an increase of 350,000 barrels per day.

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"Oil markets are reacting to the possibility the cuts will be extended", Naohiro Niimura, a partner at Market Risk Advisory, said by phone.

Two sources told Reuters that the United States also aims to curb Iran's crude exports by about 20 percent to below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from May, likely reining in waivers for Tehran's remaining customers. We will observe the economic-political consequences of the USA cornering Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela in the global oil game.

As per the IEA five-year outlook, the U.S. that became the world's top oil producer in 2018, is now set to become the world's biggest oil exporter over the next five years.

With production in Canada also increasing, and most of its exports moving to U.S. refineries, more USA crude should be available for export.

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"Therefore, in the event of a major loss of supply from Venezuela, the potential means of avoiding serious disruption to the oil market is theoretically at hand", said the IEA, adding that "production cuts have increased the spare capacity cushion". With increasing competition, the global demand for OPEC production will not return to pre-2016 levels during the period in question.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russian Federation, an alliance known as OPEC+, agreed past year to cut production, partly in response to increased US shale output. The share of petroleum products in the country's exports is 1.54 percent. The report states that daily USA export capacity during the period in question will pass Russia's and get close to Saudi Arabia's with 9 million barrels.

On December 7, 2018, an agreement was reached at the fifth ministerial meeting of the non-OPEC member and non-OPEC countries in Vienna to cut daily oil production by 1.2 million barrels.

Energy markets are being buffeted by a number of economic crosswinds.

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