Oil prices up with OPEC cuts, supply risks

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The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery gained 0.31 USA dollar to settle at 63.89 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for June delivery climbed 0.72 dollar to close at 71.55 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Oil prices rallied more than 1 percent on Friday, with sentiment supported by OPEC-led supply cuts, escalating fighting in Libya and US sanctions on petroleum exporters Iran and Venezuela.

The U.S.' sanctions on Iran and Venezuela caused a decline in oil production and exports of these countries.

OPEC crude oil production tumbled 550,000 barrels per day in March, to 30.1 million barrels per day (mb/d), on further cuts from Saudi Arabia and steep losses in Venezuela, Trend reports citing the Oil Market Report of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

While demand in China, India and the United States grew, the OECD warned that "the oil market shows signs of tightening" amid "mixed signals" over the global economic outlook.

Siluanov said oil prices could drop to $40 per barrel or even less for up to one year. Demand for OPEC crude in 2018 averaged 31.35 million bpd.

The oil cartel and its allies will meet in June to decide whether to continue withholding supply.

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On the demand side, most of the world's growth in fuel consumption is coming from Asia.

In December, OPEC and other major oil producers, including Russian Federation, pledged to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day in order to prop up prices, effective from this January.

The prospective initiative from OPEC was reportedly encouraged by the recent rally in prices and because extending its production cuts with Russian Federation and other allies could over-tighten the market (the cartel agreed with allies to withhold 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude since the start of 2019, and its output fell 550,000 bpd in March to 30.1 million bpd). The IEA also said that USA sanctions and power outages pushed OPEC...

Libya, which is also exempt from the deal, pumped 1.098 million bpd in March, up 196,000 bpd from the previous month, but output remains at risk as the country is on the brink of a possible civil war.

The rig count fell for the past four months as independent exploration and production companies cut spending on new drilling to focus on earnings growth instead of increased output.

Nigerian production increased by 11,000 bpd in March to 1.733 million bpd and fell by 5.000 bpd to 1.685 million bpd according to direct communication, according to the monthly oil market report for April.

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