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m3n4.net April 20, 2019


Venezuela sanctions leave oil market short of heavy crude

14 February 2019, 12:47 | Vera Richards

Oil Near $52 After Worst Week Since December on Growth ConcernsMore

Oil Near $52 After Worst Week Since December on Growth ConcernsMore

"Disruptions have increased with risks that Venezuela's production decline accelerates following the introduction of additional US sanctions related to the Venezuelan oil industry", the investment bank said.

"Oil production is rapidly falling and companies that normally resell Venezuelan crude have not found ways to mitigate the effect of the USA sanctions", Barclays bank said. WTI is also better bid at $53.65 per barrel.

Falih pointed out that the state-owned oil company "Saudi Aramco" was planning to develop an worldwide energy exploration and production business, stressing that the overseas expansion would be the company future's "core pillar".

Brent crude futures LCOc1 have risen 20 percent in 2019 to around $63 a barrel, but most of that increase took place in early January.

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Oil prices have remained steady near $60/bbl in London even as turmoil builds in Venezuela, as markets work through plentiful supplies accumulated previous year, the IEA said.

The IEA left its demand growth forecast for 2019 unchanged from its last report in January at 1.4 million barrels per day.

Those fears dissipated after Washington eventually granted waivers allowing several countries to continue to import Iranian oil. The dense crudes are much more hard to refine and tend to contain significant quantities of sulfur and other impurities that are costly to remove.

The decrease by the group of 14 producer countries - which has long manipulated oil output to influence global prices in members' favor - brought total production to 30.81 million barrels per day in the month, the report said citing secondary sources. The price has largely plateaued since then, in spite of the subsequent imposition of USA sanctions.

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"The imposition of sanctions by the United States against Venezuela's state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) is another reminder of the huge importance for oil of political events", the IEA said. In quality terms, it is more complicated. It has been extended several times and, under the latest deal, participants are cutting output by 1.2 million bpd until the end of June.

It also slightly downgraded its forecast for growth in global demand in 2019 from 1.29 million barrels per day to 1.24 million.

On Monday, a report from OPEC showed the Middle East-dominated group fell just short of its production goal in January, as a fresh round of production cuts got underway. Back in December, OPEC and 10 other producers let by Russian Federation agreed to restrict oil production collectively by 1.2 million barrels a day for the first half of 2019. The so-called OPEC+ alliance aims to prevent another price-crushing oil glut like the one that gripped the market between 2014 and 2016.

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