OPEC builds case for keeping supply cuts

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The IEA left unchanged its forecast for non-OPEC supply increasing to 64.4 mbd this year from a revised 62.7 mbd in 2018, a gain of 1.7 mbd.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-aligned producers including Russian Federation have been withholding oil supply since the start of the year to tighten global markets and prop up crude prices. "WTI has reached a new swing high of $58.95 per barrel Friday morning after OPEC announced it will stay committed to supply cuts until the June OPEC meeting", Amir Hekmati, trader at TradeFlow, told UPI. This led to the US taking a number of steps in the 1980s to take away OPEC's monopoly in determining oil prices, and the USA has strengthened global commodity markets with Chicago and NY.

Crude has rallied nearly 30% this year as the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allied partners - known as Opec+ - capped their output to bring the market back to balance.

Oil prices rose yesterday, driven by OPEC's current production restrictions and USA sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. This translates to a serious weakening of both Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia's hands in terms of dominating both production and global oil prices.

In addition, the signs of a slowdown in the global economy could cut demand for oil, according to IEA. We will observe the economic-political consequences of the USA cornering Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela in the global oil game. Moreover, because of the fall in U.S. crude oil production, the Brent-WTI spread might have contracted more than $1 in the trailing week. "The United States is increasingly leading the expansion in global oil supplies, with significant growth also seen among other non-Opec producers, including Brazil, Norway and new producer Guyana", the IEA report underlined.

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A major advisor to energy producing nations has suggested that the continued fallout from Venezuela could present a "challenge" for global oil markets. With increasing competition, the global demand for OPEC production will not return to pre-2016 levels during the period in question.

Brent crude oil prices on Thursday hit their highest so far this year, pushed up by ongoing supply cuts led by OPEC and by United States sanctions against Venezuela and Iran.

Futures advanced 4.4 per cent this week in NY and settled Friday just pennies off a four-month high, reported Bloomberg.

The US Energy Information Administration said late Tuesday that crude oil production in the United States is expected to grow more slowly than expected in 2019, averaging around 12.30 million bpd. Production in Iran and Libya, also exempt, was little changed.

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