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February 18, 2019

Crude prices rise on OPEC supply cuts and US sanctions

Crude prices have increased over tightened markets due to supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

Crude prices have increased over tightened markets due to supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

International Brent crude futures increased by 0.6% at $66.63 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures rose 0.9% at $56.06 per barrel, Reuters reported.

Supply cuts organised by the oil cartel and some non-affiliated producers such as Russia bolstered crude prices.

Last year, the producer countries agreed to minimise output by 1.2Mbpd to prevent supply glut.

“Positive signs in the US-China trade talks helped boost sentiment across markets.”

Crude prices also received support due to sanctions imposed by the US against oil exporters Iran and Venezuela.

Expectations that the trade war between the US and China might also conclude with a positive outcome added more support to crude prices.

ANZ bank was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Positive signs in the US-China trade talks helped boost sentiment across markets.”

Meanwhile, the increase of more than 2Mbpd in US crude inventories last year to a record 11.9Mbpd is looming over oil markets in the near term.

Production in the US is expected to rise further.

Baker Hughes said in its weekly report that energy companies in the country increased the number of oil rigs looking for new supply by three to a total of 857, last week.

This means that the number of rigs in the US is higher compared to a year ago when less than 800 rigs were active.

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