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March 13, 2019updated 14 Mar 2019 9:59am

Oil prices increase amid US sanctions on Iran, Venezuela

Oil prices continue to rise with the US imposing sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

Oil prices continue to rise with the US imposing sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

International Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were trading 18 cents higher at $66.85 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 gained 25 cents to touch $57.12 per barrel, reported Reuters.

The market was also supported by the ongoing supply cuts from oil producing cartel Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other key producers. The restriction in production is aimed to tighten supplies in the global market.

The ongoing political and economic crisis in Venezuela provided additional support to the market. The South American nation is currently facing the worst power failure, leaving most of the country without electricity.

According to Barclays, the power failure could ‘accelerate the loss of 700,000 barrels per day’ in oil supply.

“According to Barclays, the power failure in Venezuela could accelerate the loss of 700,000 barrels per day in oil supply.”

However, not all factors are conducive to the oil market with concerns over global economic growth continuing to persist. The increase in US supplies also prevented further growth in oil prices.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that crude oil production in the country is expected to be around 12.30 million barrels per day (Mbpd) this year. The figure is significantly higher compared to last year average of around 11Mbpd.

Assessing the current scenario, the National Australia Bank (NAB) predicted the oil market outlook as mixed.

NAB was quoted by Reuters as saying: “On balance, we see a very gradual uptrend for oil this year, with Brent forecast to reach $70 per barrel by the end of the year.”

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