OPEC January oil output rises despite Venezuelan decline

Brent Crude

U.S. crude inventories rose by 6.8 million barrels last week, after 10 straight weeks of declines, U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed on Wednesday.

Reference crude Brent of the North Sea sold at 69.35 dollars per barrel, while the US light crude West Texas Intermediate was quoted 65.65 dollars.

OPEC is reducing output by about 1.2 million bpd as part of a deal with Russian Federation and other non-OPEC producers.

With the oil market much more precariously balanced than it was just six months ago, geopolitical events and supply outages are having a much more profound impact on the oil market.

From late August through September 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused disruptions to the U.S. Gulf Coast refining sector, resulting in record-high U.S. crude oil exports when export facilities reopened after the storm and before many refineries returned to pre-storm levels of utilization.

WTI prices have been on an upward trend since February 2016.

Despite the rise of U.S. production, global demand remains strong with analysts expecting a growth in global oil demand to be about 1.7 million barrels a day in 2018.

American oil production has officially hit the 10 million barrel a day level and is expected to grow.

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The investment bank revised up its forecast for demand growth in 2018 and forecast that oil prices could rise to $82.50/b by mid-year.

Barrel is the unit of measurement of oil volume.

Supply cuts by OPEC and its allies helped shrink global stocks over the past few months, lifting near-term contracts above those for later delivery and reducing the incentive to store crude.

Aside from Canada, countries in Asia and Europe have been some of the largest recipients of USA crude oil since the restrictions were lifted. As a result, the slowdown in US exports could create an additional factor sup-porting fuel prices in the short term.

According to the survey, OPEC has pumped 200,000 bpd below this implied target in January - not least because of the involuntary decline in Venezuela.

New York's NYMEХ (New York Merchantile Exchange) is a U.S. futures market founded in 1882.

The cuts have offset gains in USA crude production. It forecast that oil will return 24 percent to investors over the next six months. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of US$4.37 to April WTI.


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