Oil prices edged back towards five-month highs on Wednesday, supported by ongoing supply cuts by producer club OPEC and U.S. sanctions against oil exporters Iran and Venezuela.
Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $66 per barrel (b) in March, up $2/b from February 2019. Brent prices for the first quarter of 2019 averaged $63/b, which is $4/b lower than the same period in 2018. Despite lower crude oil prices than last year, Brent prices in March were $9/b higher than in December 2018, marking the largest December-to-March price increase since December 2011 to March 2012.
The kingdom will pump about 9.8 million barrels a day in March and April and export less than 7 million barrels daily in both months, Al-Falih said in March. Saudi Arabia has a production target of 10.3 million barrels a day.
According to OPEC's latest monthly oil market report, global oil inventories stood at 2.88 billion barrels in January, about 19.1 million barrels above the five-year average that OPEC is targeting with its current output policy.
Annual U.S. crude oil production reached a record level of 10.96 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2018, 1.6 million b/d (17%) higher than 2017 levels. In December 2018, monthly U.S. crude oil production reached 11.96 million b/d, the highest monthly level of crude oil production in U.S. history.
PLATTS - Iranian oil exports, which have been laboring under US sanctions since late last year, have recovered close to prior levels, supported by unflinching demand from China and South Korea, data from shipping sources and provisional tanker tracking data showed Tuesday.
Having slashed spending plans and run out of willing buyers for assets, some U.S. shale producers are turning to workforce cuts as investors step up demands for returns.
Oil prices rose to their highest level since November 2018 on Monday, driven upwards by OPEC’s ongoing supply cuts, U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, fighting in Libya as well as strong U.S. jobs data.
PLATTS - OPEC in March tightened the oil market considerably, slashing 570,000 b/d from its February output level, as Saudi Arabia continued to implement production cuts and Venezuela suffered from extensive power outages on top of US sanctions, an S&P Global Platts survey found.
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Oil prices fell on Friday, with Brent slipping away from the $70 mark reached the previous day, pulled down by worries about progress in the U.S.-China trade talks.
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Exxon Mobil recently held talks on the sale of a suite of oil and gas fields in Nigeria as the company focuses on new developments in U.S. shale and Guyana, industry and banking sources told Reuters.
Oil prices rose for a fourth day on Wednesday, pushing Brent towards $70 a barrel as support from OPEC-led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions overshadowed a report showing an unexpected rise in U.S. inventories.
Venezuela’s state-run energy company, PDVSA, kept oil exports near 1 million barrels per day in March despite U.S. sanctions and power outages that crippled its main export terminal, according to PDVSA documents and Refinitiv Eikon data.