Oil prices have increased amid ongoing supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and sanctions imposed by the US against Venezuela and Iran.

Brent crude futures were up 13 cents at $66.12 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures increased two cents at $56.24 a barrel, Reuters reported.

Efforts led by OPEC and other countries to withhold around 1.2 million barrels per day (Mbpd) of oil led to a hike in oil prices. However, record crude production in the US and rising commercial fuel inventories capped this increase.

Goldman Sachs was quoted by Reuters as saying: “In our view, OPEC’s strategy is to rebalance the market as quickly as possible and exit the cuts by the end of June in order to grow production alongside shale producers in the second half of this year.”

“OPEC’s strategy is to rebalance the market as quickly as possible and exit the cuts by the end of June.”

Oil prices further gained support due to US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, traders said.

Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA declared a maritime emergency after maritime services company Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) unveiled plans to return ten tankers over unpaid fees, a document from the company revealed.

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By GlobalData

A weekly report published by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) highlighted an increase in US crude oil stockpiles by 7.1 million barrels to 452.93 million barrels, a higher rise than was expected.

Crude oil production in the US remained at a record 12.1Mbpd, representing an increase of more than 2Mbpd since early 2018.