Crude Oil Price Outlook: Rising on Positive Fundamentals & Technicals

Crude Oil Price Outlook: Rising on Positive Fundamentals & Technicals

Crude Oil Price Outlook: Rising on Positive Fundamentals & Technicals

A flotilla loaded with Venezuelan oil has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, some holding cargoes bought ahead of the latest USA sanctions on Venezuela and others whose buyers are weighing who to pay.

"Also underpinning the market is strong adherence to the OPEC-led supply cuts during January", reports OilPrice.com.

US crude oil inventories C-STK-T-EIA climbed by 1.3 million barrels in the week that ended February 1, to 447.21 million barrels, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on Wednesday.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, slipped 4 cents to $61.94 a barrel by 1331 GMT.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $55.13 per barrel, down 13 cents, or 0.24 percent, from their last settlement.

WTI prices were $46.54 per barrel at the start of the year, rising to current levels in part on geopolitical concerns about Venezuela, as well as on the possibility of an economic slowdown in China.

Crude futures earlier posted around two-month highs.

According to the Weekly Petroleum Status Report, U.S. crude oil imports averaged 7.1 million barrels per day last week, up by 63,000 barrels per day from the previous week, while crude oil exports saw a daily average of 2.9 million barrels, up by 926,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

United States distillate stocks fell by 2.3 million barrels, while inventories of other refined fuels dropped by 2.9 million barrels.

About a dozen tankers carrying over 7 million barrels of Venezuelan crude and products were anchored this week at the U.S Gulf Coast waiting for directions on how to pay for the cargoes following the sanctions, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. WTI settled 2.73 percent higher in the last session at its highest close since November 19.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead a delegation to Beijing next week to lay the groundwork for a meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping later this month. Energy information provider Argus Media, said producer cuts will eventually help level oil prices again as 2019 wears on.

The move ratcheted up pressure on Maduro to cede power to National Assembly leader Juan Guaido, who the US and European allies have recognized as Venezuela's rightful president. The surge comes shortly after Washington slapped sanctions on the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA. "Around a third of Venezuela's exports head to the United States, as such, we expect Venezuelan exports to quickly fall by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 700,000 bpd", ANZ bank said on Thursday.

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