Oil prices stable, supported by signs of emerging supply deficit

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The state oil marketing company of OPEC's second-largest producer plans to begin the opening of offices overseas with Singapore, S&P Global Platts quoted Al-Shatari as saying during the conference.

USA crude stocks fell last week as refineries hiked output, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

Markets have been further tightened by USA sanctions against oil exports from OPEC members Iran and Venezuela. A recent EIA forecast also showed that the United States would become a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products on a monthly basis in 2019 and on an annual basis in 2020.

"While oil demand is expected to grow at a moderate pace in 2019, it is still well below the strong growth expected in the non-OPEC supply forecast for this year", OPEC said in the report.

For 2020, the government said it expected USA crude oil demand to rise by 220,000 bpd to 21.03 million bpd, unchanged from previous forecasts. Crude oil imports to the United States fell last week by 523,000 bpd to 6.4 million bpd.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak will not attend a monitoring panel of Opec and non-Opec oil-producing countries scheduled for Monday in Baku, two sources familiar with his plans told Reuters.

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While it may be just as problematic as the notion of global oversupply that dominated analytical fears until recently, the perception of a tightening market continued to result in gains for crude prices, with US oil settling a substantial 2.4 percent higher on Wednesday.

Thamer Ghadhban told reporters that an Opec meeting in Vienna in April would assess member states› compliance with agreed production cuts and whether to extend the curbs until the end of the year. It is because of this that I think that although we are bullish, you are probably going to continue to buy short-term pullbacks more than anything else in this market.

EIA's data also showed that on the exports side, USA crude oil exports increased while domestic production rose as well.

Brent crude futures settled at $67.55 a barrel, up 88 cents, or 1.32 percent.

Brent was still at $67.75 per barrel at 0244 GMT, up 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, from its last close.

At the moment the barrel of WTI is up 0.50% at $58.53 and a breakout of $59.63 (50% Fibo of the October-December drop) would open the door for $62.00 (200-day SMA) and then $63.74 (78.6% Fibo of the October-December drop).

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