US government data on Wednesday showed that domestic crude inventories rose less than expected last week even as refineries hiked output.
Inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will be released later today.
This news may have been offset by robust U.S.jobs data and a stronger-than-expected ISM Manufacturing PMI report on Friday, but traders turned bearish on Monday when the government reported that new orders for us -made goods unexpectedly fell in November amid sharp declines in demand for machinery and electrical equipment, suggesting a slowdown in manufacturing as 2018 ended.
Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA is looking to sell more of its oil to customers in Europe and Asia as the USA sanctions are cutting off US buyers of its crude, a senior Venezuelan oil official loyal to Nicolas Maduro told Russian news outlet Sputnik in an interview published on Wednesday.
International Brent crude oil futures on Monday were down 20 cents, or 0.32 percent at 0339 GMT to $62.54 a barrel, after closing up 3.14 percent in the previous session to their highest close since November 21. US crude was down 48 cents at $53.18.
If sanctions compel USA oil companies to wind down their business in the Latin American nation, production could sink to 600,000 barrels a day, according to Rapidan Energy Group.
The oil industry generally believes the curbs will help balance the market this year. US sanctions on Venezuela's state oil company could also lift prices, though they have yet to trigger any sharp increase.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russian Federation, agreed to production cuts effective from last month to beat back supply growth.
OPEC, Russia and other non-OPEC producers - an alliance known as OPEC+ - agreed in December to reduce supply by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from January 1.
The global economic outlook and prospects for growth in fuel demand have also been clouded by poor economic data in China and U.S. Buyers were also encouraged to shed long positions on renewed concerns over lower demand due to the slowdown in China's economy amid uncertainty over U.S. Oil prices fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion almost stalled in January.
U.S. President Donald Trump last week said he would meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in the coming weeks to try to settle the dispute.