OPEC squeezes oil output to 4-year low, Russia compliance low

Crude Oil

OPEC squeezes oil output to 4-year low, Russia compliance low

Most new supply is coming from the United States, where crude production rose by more than 2 million bpd a year ago to a record 11.9 million bpd, making the country the world's biggest oil producer ahead of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

Analysts said markets are tightening amid voluntary production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and because of USA sanctions on Venezuela and Iran.

China's crude oil imports in January rose 4.8 percent from a year earlier, customs data showed on Thursday, to an average of 10.03 million barrels per day (bpd), the third straight month that imports have exceeded the 10 million bpd mark.

USA prices were also supported by a report from the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday showing that crude inventories fell by 998,000 barrels in the week to 8 February to 447.2 million, compared with analyst expectations for an increase of 2.7 million barrels.

A U.S. House of Representatives committee approved the bill known as No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, or NOPEC, last week.

Courvalin said the main OPEC oil producers are making deeper-than-expected production cuts.

In the report, OPEC said its oil output fell by 797,000 bpd month on month to 30.806 million bpd in January.

He added that markets were amply supplied due to "adequate global oil inventories, the prospect of weakened demand tied both to US-China trade and broader economic concerns, the approach of seasonal refinery maintenance - when crude oil demand declines - and an influx of new supply from the United States and elsewhere".

The IEA also raised its estimate for the increase in non-OPEC crude supply in 2019 to 1.8 mbd, which is 0.3 mbd higher than previously.

The IEA noted that new USA sanctions announced in January on Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA have not so far caused market jitters.

The IEA further added that traders shouldn't expect US sanctions against Venezuela to fuel a rally in oil prices.

Most of those crudes have an even higher sulfur content than Venezuela's, which will require extra processing to make fuels of acceptable quality, and in any event the quantities are limited in the short term.

Crude inventories built for a fourth week in a row, rising 3.6 million barrels to 450.8 million barrels in the week to February 8.

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.

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