Venezuelan opposition readies US fund to receive oil revenue

Meanwhile, imports are set to drop further as the USA slapped sanctions on Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.

International Brent crude oil futures were at $62.72 a barrel, also up 21 cents or 0.4 percent, after closing down 0.4 percent in the previous session.

It will take time for the market to factor in this fact and for now the concern about a shortage is being offset by the production cuts OPEC and Russian Federation agreed at the end a year ago. A week earlier, gasoline inventories fell by 2.2 million barrels after four weekly builds, and hefty ones, at that, with production averaging 9.9 million bpd.

A day after the American Petroleum Institute disappointed oil bulls by reporting an estimated inventory build across the board, the Energy Information Administration deepened the mood by saying US crude oil inventories added 1.3 million barrels in the week to February 1.

United States government data on Wednesday showed that domestic crude inventories rose by less than expected last week even as refineries hiked output. "That said, if the other OPEC countries fail to offset this outage, the oil market could quickly become undersupplied, driving the price up".

West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery slipped 0.4 percent to $53.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 10:50 a.m. London time.

Countering the rising U.S. crude output and inventories are voluntary supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) aimed at tightening the market and propping up prices.


Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, told OPEC it had pumped 10.24 million barrels per day (bpd) in January, two OPEC sources told Reuters, exceeding requirements agreed in the supply pact.

Gasoline stocks increased by 513,000 barrels, less than anticipated, while distillate stockpiles posted a larger-than-expected drop by 2.3 million barrels. USA crude output stayed at a record-high 11.9 million barrels a day.

Venezuela, like fellow OPEC members Iran and Libya, was exempt from production curbs under the OPEC+ deal on expectations that its output faced involuntary downward pressure in 2019. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.

"Supply fundamentals have increasingly been turning supportive in recent weeks, but against this the market still worries about the yet-to-be-realised - if at all - impact on demand from weaker macroeconomic fundamentals". Oil prices fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion almost stalled in January.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in his State of the Union address that a trade deal with China was possible.

Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are poised to start another round of trade talks next week.


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