Monday, 20 May, 2019

Oil Prices Increase as US Lowers Crude Production Estimates

EIA: The US imports and exports substantial volumes of petroleum Oil Rises Strongly Supported by Cuts, Sanctions
Russell Knight | 15 March, 2019, 05:09

Crude oil imports have decreased in recent years as U.S. crude oil production has increased. Market shortages have been exacerbated by U.S. sanctions on oil exports by OPEC members Iran and Venezuela.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $57.25 a barrel at the same time - a 0.1 percent increase after ending the previous session at $57.18 per barrel.

An unexpected dip in USA crude oil inventories and production also lifted prices, traders said, Reuters reported.

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

EIA expected these trends "to continue over the next several years".

On Tuesday, crude oil futures for April ended up $0.08, or 0.1%, at $56.87 a barrel.

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Crude inventories dropped by 3.9 million barrels in the last week, to 449.07 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations for an increase of 2.7 million barrels.

Two sources told Reuters that the U.S. also aims to curb Iran's crude exports by about 20% to below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from May, likely reining in waivers for Tehran's remaining customers. Back in February, U.S. crude-oil futures posted their highest close in over three months, and recently prices have now surpassed a 4-month high. The agency also slightly reduced it's 2020 predictions, bringing it's forecast down from 13.2 million barrels a day down to 13 million.

The OPEC Reference Basket (ORB), a weighted average of prices for petroleum blends produced by the cartel's members, rose in February for the second consecutive month, increasing by about 9 percent, or 5.09 US dollars, month-on-month to average 63.83 USA dollars per barrel, said the report. It kept its forecast for growth in global oil demand this year unchanged at 1.24 million bpd.

The trade volume of petroleum in the United States includes crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas plant liquids, according to EIA.

In China, official statistics showed refinery crude oil use hit a record.

Data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) this morning showed that crude oil inventories declined by 3.86 million barrels in the week to March 8, as against forecasts for a 2.6 million increase.

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