Oil prices have increased amid supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which tightened markets.
International Brent crude futures increased 0.81% at $66.85 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were up by 0.77% at $57.66 a barrel, Reuters reported.
Traders said that oil markets were currently tightening due to OPEC supply cuts, but increasing US supply and concerns of global economic slowdown prevented further gains.
Since the start of the year, the OPEC has led efforts regarding supply cuts to increase oil prices.
RBC Capital Markets was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Global (oil) markets appear tighter than many anticipated for this time of year, but scores of unsold barrels can pile up quickly and saturate regions.”
After the US Government imposed sanctions against Venezuela in January, oil exports in the country have dropped by 40% to 920,000 barrels per day (bpd).
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The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy announced the sale of up to six million barrels of crude oil from three Strategic Petroleum Reserve sites, Bryan Mound and Big Hill in Texas, and West Hackberry in Louisiana.
The sale is aimed at raising funds to modernise the US strategic oil reserves.
On the demand side, a poll by Reuters showed analysts expect a reduction in global fuel demand this year amid a broad economic slowdown.
A private survey revealed that China’s factory activity for last month declined for a third month as the country continued to struggle with weak export orders.