No Pipeline, No Problem as Canadian Oil Hits the Railroad

Oil prices stabilise at $61.58/b over by OPEC production cut

Oil prices jump as U.S. threatens sanctions against Venezuela

Oil prices fell slightly on Friday as concerns about US-China trade talks and fresh data on surging US fuel stocks sent a chill through markets.

Global oil markets are still well supplied thanks in part to a spike in USA output.

Washington on Thursday signaled it could impose sanctions on Venezuela's crude exports as Caracas descends further into political and economic turmoil.

Brent crude oil futures were at $60.86 a barrel at 1215 GMT, down $0.23 or 0.38%.

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The United States, the top importer of Venezuelan crude, is seeking to ensure that the OPEC member's oil revenue goes to opposition leader Juan Guaido, who swore himself in as interim president, and to cut off money from President Nicolas Maduro, a top USA official said on Thursday.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading at $53.06 per barrel, down $0.07, or 0.13%. "Venezuelan production will decline by an additional 300,000-500,000 barrels per day (bpd) this year but such punitive measures could expand that outage by several hundred thousand barrels".

"The breakdown in diplomatic relations was interpreted as upping the possibility of a United States sanction on Venezuelan oil that would likely force U.S. refiners to seek alternative supplies at higher prices, hence the WTI gains", Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.

Global oil markets are still well supplied, however, thanks in part to a spike in USA output. The bank cut its 2019 average Brent forecast to $70 a barrel, from $72 previously.

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Weighing on oil futures, United States crude inventories USOILC=ECI sharply rose by 8 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday, versus forecasts for a decline of 42,000 barrels.

Oil markets have been underpinned this year by production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, aimed at reining in emerging supply overhang.

Worries about the longer-term outlook for global economic growth, and therefore demand for crude, has pressured oil prices.

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