Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

Crude Inventories Pale, Oil Prices Extend Gains

Crude Inventories Pale, Oil Prices Extend Gains

OPEC's bearish demand outlook was offset by its apparent resolve to extend crude output cuts, agreed to by its members and allied producers, which have helped oil prices rise more than 20 percent this year.

"Oil prices were supported by expectations of tightening oil supply in the coming months amid increased unplanned outages", it added. Opec sources have said an extension of the pact is the likely scenario. Crude oil imports to the United States fell last week by 523,000 bpd to 6.4 million bpd.

Despite the new curbs, market indicators followed by Opec will prolong concerns about excess supply.

Crude oil imports have decreased in recent years as USA crude oil production has increased.

Meanwhile, U.S. sanctions against Venezuela as well as Iran have further tightened oil markets. It kept its forecast for growth in global oil demand this year unchanged at 1.24 million bpd.

They said his deputy, Pavel Sorokin, would represent Russian Federation at the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee in the Azeri capital.

EIA: The US imports and exports substantial volumes of petroleum
Tight Market Fears Cause Crude to Climb Again - with $60-Plus Viewed as Inevitable

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-affiliated allies such as Russian Federation - known as the OPEC+ alliance - pledged to withhold 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in crude supply from the start of the year to tighten markets and prop up prices. It is because of this that I think that although we are bullish, you are probably going to continue to buy short-term pullbacks more than anything else in this market.

Oil prices were mixed on Thursday after hitting 2019 highs as OPEC stressed the need to extend its production cut program past June while lowering its forecast for crude demand.

Brent crude oil futures were at $67.15 per barrel at 0126 GMT, 8 cents below their last close, but still within a dollar of the $68.14 2019-high reached the previous day. Brent touched $67.76 a barrel on Wednesday, its highest since November 16.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.17 per barrel, up 30 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last settlement.

At the moment the barrel of WTI is up 0.50% at $58.53 and a breakout of $59.63 (50% Fibo of the October-December drop) would open the door for $62.00 (200-day SMA) and then $63.74 (78.6% Fibo of the October-December drop).

"With OPEC's cuts in full-swing. persistent supply issues and a deteriorating picture on Venezuela, oil is looking well supported", said Jasper Lawler, head of research at futures brokerage London Capital Group.

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