Crude Oil Bulls Seeing Few Clouds on the Horizon

Posted April 12, 2019

Crude inventories are set to decline for the rest of the year as Saudi Arabia and its partners curb production, while exports from Venezuela and Iran are squeezed by economic and political crises, the agency said in its monthly report.

Global oil supplies declined last month amid another steep drop in OPEC output, as the Saudis cut more production than promised and Venezuela's unintended losses swelled.

The recent downward revision to the 2019 global growth forecasts made by the International Monetary Fund combined with the renewed US-EU trade worries continue to cast doubt on the global economic growth and its impact on the oil demand.

The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery increased 0.63 US dollar to settle at 64.61 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for June delivery rose 1.21 dollars to close at 71.73 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

"The global oil market is clearly moving back towards balance thanks to OPEC+ production cuts".

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As a result, Brent and WTI crude oil futures have risen by around 30 percent and 40 percent respectively since the start of the year.

Despite this growth in U.S. supply, global oil markets remain tight amid supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), U.S. sanctions on oil exporters Iran and Venezuela, and escalating fighting in Libya.

Global oil demand is estimated to average 99.91 million b/d this year, compared with 98.70 million b/d in 2018, OPEC said.

U.S. crude oil inventories increased during the week ending April 5, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report on Wednesday.

"Declines from these two exempt countries account for nearly 47% of the reduction seen from OPEC", ING added.

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"While no industry lasts forever, the age of oil is far from over", Bernstein said.

Russia, not an OPEC-member but a reluctant participant in the supply cuts, signalled yesterday it wanted to raise output when it meets with OPEC in June because of falling stockpiles.

"Even though the crude oil inventory rise was almost equal in size, the focus of the complex, as we head into peak summer driving season, is gasoline".

In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook released Tuesday, the EIA estimated that USA crude oil production averaged 12.1 million b/d in March, up 300,000 b/d from the February average.

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