Oil prices hovered near 2019 highs, as they are strengthened due to supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and US sanctions imposed on Venezuela and Iran.

International Brent crude futures were at 0.2% trading at $67.20 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $57.39 a barrel at 0.4%, Reuters reported.

Slowing growth in the global economy is preventing the prices from rising further.

Phillip Futures Benjamin Lu told the news agency: “Slowing economic growth will invariably lead to weakness in fuel consumption thus eroding bullish gains for oil prices.”

“Slowing economic growth will invariably lead to weakness in fuel consumption thus eroding bullish gains for oil prices.”

Despite the global economic slowdown that emerged late last year, oil prices received some support this year due to supply cuts led by the OPEC.

Last year, OPEC and some non-affiliated producers such as Russia agreed to decrease output by 1.2 million barrels per day (Mbpd) to prevent a supply glut.

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Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari said that the country was planning a reduction in crude oil output to increase the price of the commodity.

Buhari said that Nigeria will go along with the Saudi initiative to decrease output.

The primary factor keeping oil prices from rising even further is an increase in US oil production, which rose by more than 2Mbpd last year to 11.9Mbpd.

Data published by the American Petroleum Institute highlighted an increase in US crude oil stocks by 1.3 million barrels in the week ending 15 February to 448.5 million.