Crude Oil Analysis: Oil Rises on Aggressive Saudi Action
13 February, 2019, 19:08 | Author: Eric Barnett
Venezuela's production has nearly halved in two years to 1.17 million bpd, as an economic crisis decimated its energy industry and USA sanctions have now crippled its exports.
Reports stated that Saudi Arabia will reduce its oil production to around 9.8mbpd in March (10.25mbpd according to Refinitiv), as such, this would see Saudi crude production 500kbpd below its 2019 target (10.311mbpd).
The EIA reduced its forecasts for both Brent and West Texas Intermediate oil benchmarks by $3 a barrel for 2020.
USA restrictions on Venezuela's energy sector should remove some 330,000 bpd in supply this year, according to Goldman Sachs.
The IEA noted that new USA sanctions announced in January on Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA have not so far caused market jitters.
World oil demand will grow more slowly this year, OPEC said, and non-OPEC production will rise more rapidly than expected.
Compliance by non-OPEC participants was only 25 percent, however, it said.
Output has gone into free fall as the country's isolation has increased, shrinking from 2.4 million bpd in 2016 to 2.0 million bpd in 2017 and 1.5 million bpd in 2018, according to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative. A day later, the EIA confirmed the inventory build, but a smaller one at 1.3 million barrels. Any economic slowdown could cap oil markets.
The U.S. Treasury's guidance, which appears deliberately unclear, has left many third-country buyers uncertain about whether they can do business with PDVSA without also falling foul of sanctions.
Most new supply is coming from the United States, where crude production rose by more than 2 million bpd previous year to a record 11.9 million bpd, making the country the world's biggest oil producer ahead of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.
"Some recent positive developments could support the global economy at its current level, including the recovery in oil prices, possible progress in U.S".
Heavy crudes are much harder to refine and tend to contain significant quantities of sulfur and other impurities that are costly to remove, which is why they sell at a hefty discount to medium and light oils.
The sudden embargo on Venezuela's exports has therefore sent refiners in the United States and elsewhere scrambling to find alternative supplies compatible with their equipment. "This is because, in terms of crude oil quantity, markets may be able to adjust after initial logistical dislocations", the group added.
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