Economy

United States crude rises 31 cents, settling at $63.89, on tightening oil supply

United States crude rises 31 cents, settling at $63.89, on tightening oil supply”

International Brent crude oil futures were at $71.01 per barrel at 0042 GMT, up 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

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.

IEA said Thursday that worldwide crude inventories are set to decline for the rest of the year as OPEC output falls.

"We maintain our forecast of 1.4 Mmbpd (in 2019 oil demand growth), but accept that there are mixed signals about the health of the global economy, and differing views about the likely level of oil prices", IEA said.

OPEC revised demand growth down in 2019 to 1.21 million bpd due to "slower-than-expected economic activity".

Opec+, which includes most Opec members along with a number of non-Opec producer-countries led by Russian Federation, is trying to keep 1.2 million barrels per day (Mmbpd) off the market through June.

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Both benchmarks notched a weekly gain of about 1 percent, which was Brent's third consecutive week of gains and the sixth straight rise for WTI.

Russian Federation and OPEC may decide to boost production to fight for market share with the United States but this would push oil prices as low as $40 per barrel, TASS news agency сited Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as saying on Saturday.

Additionally, supply from Libya is also in decline as tensions continue between UN-backed Government of National Accord and east Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar who now controls around half of the oil fields in the country that have a total of 1.1 million bpd of oil production.

It said that US, Brazil, Russia, UK, Australia, Ghana, Sudan and South Sudan will be the main drivers of supply growth this year.

Meanwhile, China's oil imports stood at 39.34 million tonnes or 9.26 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, the lowest since October 2018, official data showed today.

Two days ago, OPEC reported Venezuela's March output sank to 732,000 bpd, citing independent sources, while figures provided by the country put production at 960,000 bpd.



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