USA oil inventories increase last week

USA oil inventories increase last week

USA oil inventories increase last week

Output declines from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as they make good on their pact to curb a supply overhang were compounded by falling United States oil rig counts and sanctions on Venezuelan oil sales.

Guaido's team is planning for a post-Maduro government with an emergency scheme to supply fuel domestically, given widespread shortages across Venezuela, Goicoechea said.

Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit, agreed: "I think the oil price is moved by what happens with the overall financial markets; it means sentiment will have a bigger impact on the oil price, [and] a big surge in US oil production becomes bearish for the global market so you get more and more complicated feedback loops". Still, "more hard work is needed to turn this market unreservedly bullish".

Supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies since January have been supporting prices.

"The ban. dramatically ramps up the sanctions to a global level and could potentially result in a loss of most Venezuelan output", French bank Societe Generale said in a note published on Wednesday.

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U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $53.82 per barrel at 0036 GMT, down 19 cents, or 0.35 percent, from their last settlement. The contract increased 35 cents to $54.01 on Wednesday. The global benchmark crude was at an $8.36 premium to WTI for the same month.

Crude inventories rose by 2.5 million barrels in the week ended February 1 to 448.2 million, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2.2 million barrels.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 2.3 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.8 million-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.

Meanwhile, average weekly U.S. crude oil production remained at the record 11.9 million barrels per day (bpd) it reached in late 2018.

"Because the number was a little disappointing, it played into the slowing demand scenario", said Phil Flynn, oil analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

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Short-term, the market is getting a boost from US sanctions on Venezuelan oil exports.

TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone pipeline and Enbridge Inc.'s Platte pipeline were shut Wednesday to investigate a possible oil spill in Missouri.

“With higher production from non-OPEC producers, especially the USA, over the last few years, OPEC's market share has been shrinking, ” said James Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics.

More stringent sanctions on Venezuela that bar companies that do business with PDVSA from accessing the US financial system resemble Washington's measures on Iran, ANZ Banking Group said.

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