OPEC Cuts Oil Production by 800,000 Barrels a Day in January

Crude Oil

OPEC cuts & US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela boosting global crude prices

Supply issues in OPEC-member Venezuela are also bolstering oil prices as the South American country suffers a political and economic crisis, with Washington introducing petroleum export sanctions against state-owned energy firm PDVSA.

U.S. WTI futures hit a high of $53.70 per barrel before receding slightly to $53.54 per barrel, a 0.83 percent rise, as of 2:04 p.m. HK/SIN.

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 US shale boom.

Brent crude rose two per cent to $62.74 a barrel.

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The global oil market will struggle this year to absorb fast-growing crude supply from outside OPEC, even with the group's production cuts and US sanctions on Venezuela and Iran, the International Energy Agency said in a report on Wednesday.

The country's average heavy crude price was also reported to be $56.29 since beginning of 2019 up to the report's publishing day.

Brent has struggled to sustain gains this month following its best ever start to a year on concern that booming shale output will undermine cuts by OPEC and its partners, and fears that the U.S. The dense crudes are much more hard to refine and tend to contain significant quantities of sulfur and other impurities that are costly to remove. OPEC and other countries will either have to continue curbing extraction to maintain prices in the future or accept an energy independent USA and the likely oversupply of energy that would bring to the market. But a shortfall of heavy-sour crude can cause complications for many refiners, such as those along the U.S. Gulf Coast, configured to process it.

According to the decision the OPEC+ countries adopted at the meeting on December 7, 2018, the alliance will reduce production in the first half of 2019 by 1.2 mln barrels.

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OPEC and its non-member allies headed by Russian Federation agreed late-2018 to decrease production by 1.2 mb/d during first half of 2019 to push oil prices high.

Venezuela accounted for 16 percent of OPEC output and 8 percent of world production in 1970 but those percentages had fallen to just 5 percent and 2 percent respectively by 2017 (https://tmsnrt.rs/2E4Pfb9).

Exports would fall in March to 6.9 million bpd, according to the article published on Tuesday. The so-called OPEC+ alliance aims to prevent another price-crushing oil glut like the one that gripped the market between 2014 and 2016.

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