Oil gets a boost from Saudi output pledge, declining U.S. inventories

OPEC cuts & US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela boosting global crude prices

Opec tightens its taps as global oil demand stalls

OPEC production fell to a four-year low in January as the cartel applied a new pact to boost global oil prices, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday, but Russian Federation and other ex-Soviet states failed to cut back output as much as promised.

In a monthly report, OPEC said its oil output fell nearly 800,000 barrels per day in January to 30.81 million bpd.

And while OPEC and its allies, including Russian Federation, withhold supply, United States output is expected to rise further, with the Energy Information Administration saying on Tuesday that U.S. crude production is expected to reach 13.2 million bpd by 2020.

This rate could rise in coming months as top exporter and OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia voluntarily lowers supply by more than it agreed.

According to IEA data Russian Federation made only 18 percent of its pledged cut of 0.23 mbd.

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister, Khalid al Falih, told the Financial Times that the kingdom would reduce production to about 9.8million bpd in March, down from a record high of 11.1million bpd in November.

Kazakhstan increased production, while Azerbaijan only cut 15 percent of what it had promised.

Global oil cartel Opec said Tuesday it sharply reduced crude oil production last month, after heavyweight Saudia Arabia slashed output and exports fell in crisis-hit Venezuela.

Those fears dissipated after Washington eventually granted waivers allowing several countries to continue to import Iranian oil.

Soaring output is putting the USA on course to become a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products next year.

The oil price has risen by 20 percent so far this year, yet most of that increase materialised in early January, before the imposition of USA sanctions on Venezuela's energy sector.

In the report, OPEC cut its forecast for 2019 world economic growth by 0.2 percentage point to 3.3 percent and highlighted a range of headwinds, including a slowdown in global trade.

"In terms of crude-oil quantity, markets may be able to adjust after initial logistical dislocations", said the Paris-based IEA, which advises major economies on energy policy.

Despite the political rifts between Venezuela and the United States, US refiners have in the past been some of the biggest buyers of Venezuelan crude.

The country's very dense crudes, some of which barely float on water, are complicated to process and sell for a large discount compared to other producers.

The "call" on OPEC crude is now forecast at 30.7 million bpd in 2019, down from the IEA's last estimate of 31.6 million bpd in January.

Altre Notizie