Oil Prices Jump Over 1 Percent Amid Tightening Supply
14 April, 2019, 23:16 | Author: Eric Barnett
After closing the previous session at $70.98 a barrel on Thursday, global benchmark Brent crude gained 0.2% to trade at $71.12 per barrel at 0630 GMT.
However, global oil markets remain firm, amid Opec+ supply cuts, US sanctions on oil exporters Venezuela and Iran and increased fighting in Opec member Libya.
Oil prices doubled on three occasions thanks to the cuts led by OPEC countries, U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and the renewal of fighting in Libya.
OPEC's largest producer Saudi Arabia saw its output dropping to its lowest in over two years, boosting compliance with supply cuts to 153%, according to the IEA's Oil Market Report.
But the group said that the market remained oversupplied and warned of slowing demand growth, according to S&P Global Platts.
Oil prices fell on Thursday, pressured as USA crude stockpiles surged to their highest levels in nearly 17 months amid record production and as economic concerns cast doubt over growth in demand for fuel.
Additionally, supply from Libya is also in decline as tensions continue between UN-backed Government of National Accord and east Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar who now controls around half of the oil fields in the country that have a total of 1.1 million bpd of oil production. Conflict between the United States and Iran could have also helped boost oil prices considering the risk of President Trump extending Iranian restrictions. Moreover, news out that Russian Federation has shied away from committing to extend oil production cuts along with OPEC could also weigh adversely on crude prices if this risk materializes.
The kingdom also self-reported production of 9.79 million bpd, its lowest since January 2017 and a fall of 350,000 bpd month on month.
At the last OPEC meeting in Vienna, the group's members agreed to slash output by 812,000 bpd, with Russian Federation and nine other non-OPEC allies committing to a cut of 383,000 bpd for the first six months of 2019. However, U.S. gasoline stocks fell by a whopping 7.7 million barrels, sending U.S. gasoline futures higher by 3.5 per cent on their close on Wednesday.
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