Oil prices slide on swelling USA supply, global market slump

28 January, 2019, 05:55 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • Oil prices stabilise at $61.58/b over by OPEC production cut

Official U.S. government oil production and inventory data is due later on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, winning over the backing of the Washington and many Latin American nations and prompting socialist incumbent Nicolas Maduro to break relations with the U.S.

Oil prices fell on Monday after US energy firms added rigs for the first time this year in a sign that crude production there will rise further.

Even before the most recent political upheaval, the US imported a record 4.06 million barrels of Canadian crude a day last week, while imports from Venezuela slipped 13 per cent to 523,000 barrels a day.

"There's an upward bias here, considering there's supply-side outages and potential ones lurking", Michael Tran, an RBC Capital Markets LLC commodity strategist, said by telephone. Hence, we strongly caution against assuming that there will be a quick recovery in the event of regime change.”. While a cutoff of Venezuelan imports would raise prices for refiners in the Gulf Coast, the market is competitive enough that producers are unlikely to pass along much of the cost to consumers, experts said.

Crude inventories rose by 6.6 million barrels in the week ended January 18 to 443.6 million, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 42,000 barrels, the API said.

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At the moment the barrel of WTI is losing 0.02% at $52.92 and a break below $52.54 (10-day SMA) would aim for $51.42 (55-day SMA) and then $50.34 (low Jan.14). Data were released a day later than usual because of Monday's Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. A report from the American Petroleum Institute on Thursday said that the us has surplus gasoline stockpiles that "could approach burdensome levels" and force gas prices down further.

“As we shuffle into seasonal maintenance, it is no surprise to see refinery runs dropping, but this drop has been compounded by a big jump in imports to propel crude stocks higher, ” he said. OPEC member Venezuela is one of the world's largest oil producing countries, but its output has decreased from 2.4 million barrels per day in 2016 to a 70-year low of around 1.2 million bpd as the country has slipped into an economic crisis under Maduro's leadership.

The report also said that US will become a net energy exporter by 2020 as USA crude production increases and domestic consumption of petroleum products decreases.

The supply of global oil is also being closely watched by oil market analysts with the growth in production of USA shale oil also a pressure on prices.

Worries about the longer-term outlook for global economic growth, and therefore demand for crude, has been undermining bullish moves in the oil market.

The biggest USA importers of Venezuelan crude previous year were Citgo, Valero and Chevron, according to Rystad Energy.

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