Oil prices have increased as Saudi Arabia appeared to deepen supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to tighten markets.
Brent crude futures edged up 24 cents at $66.82 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures increased 29 cents at $57.08 per barrel, Reuters reported.
The ongoing increase in US supply and global economy concerns prevented further gains in oil prices.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We still see Brent prices averaging $70 per barrel this year and expect WTI to lag, averaging $59 per barrel in 2019.”
In 2019, oil prices have been receiving support from supply cuts by the OPEC and non-affiliated members such as Russia to tighten markets and increase prices.
A Saudi Arabia official said that in April, Saudi plans to cut its crude oil exports to below seven million barrels per day (Mbpd) while keeping its output below 10Mbpd.
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Traders said that oil prices received further support due to the political and economic crisis in Venezuela following US-imposed sanctions against the country.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said that over the next five years, the US will drive global oil supply growth. This is expected to add another 4Mbpd to the country’s already increasing output.
The IEA further added that crude oil output in the US will increase nearly 2.8Mbpd, growing to 13.7Mbpd in 2024 from an average of under 11Mbpd last year.