REUTERS - Yet by 0649 GMT, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 16 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last settlement at $73.10 per barrel. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $77.32.
BLOOMBERG - Venezuela wrote to fellow OPEC members urging them to unite against U.S. sanctions, echoing a similar letter from Iran, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
PLATTS - President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the "war" on American energy is over in a State of the Union speech given as US crude oil output is set to reach levels not seen in more than 47 years.
PLATTS - Venezuelan crude output plummeted in December to 1.70 million b/d, according to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC survey released Monday.
U.S.DT - “President Maduro and his inner circle continue to put their own interests above those of the Venezuelan people,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “This action underscores the United States’ resolve to hold Maduro and others engaged in corruption in Venezuela accountable. We call on concerned parties and international partners around the world to join us as we stand with the Venezuelan people to further isolate this oppressive regime.”
“The principal risk regarding Russian and Chinese activities in Venezuela in the near term is that they will exploit the unfolding crisis, including the effect of US sanctions, to deepen their control over Venezuela’s resources, and their [financial] leverage over the country as an anti-US political and military partner,” observed R. Evan Ellis, a senior associate in the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Americas Program.
U.S. - The Trump administration imposed new sanctions prohibiting trading new debt and equity issued by the Venezuelan government and state oil company PDVSA.