Oil hovers near 5-month highs as global markets tighten

Crude Oil

Oil hovers near 5-month highs as global markets tighten

In its latest monthly oil market report, the Paris-based IEA said production by OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia dropped to its lowest level in two years in March after the cartel agreed to cuts with Russian Federation and other ex-Soviet states.

As a result of being blindsided by the U.S. and due to their need to support the price of crude oil, Saudi Arabia made a 180 degree turn: During a four-month period from December to March the kingdom's production slumped from a record to a four-year low, well below the level they had agreed as part of the Opec+ deal to cut production.

Oil prices fell on Thursday, pressured as United States crude stockpiles surged to their highest levels in nearly 17 months amid record production and as economic concerns cast doubt over growth in demand for fuel.

Meanwhile, crude oil didn't show a significant reaction and the barrel of West Texas Intermediate was last seen trading at $64.35, adding 0.2% on the day.

Brent futures LCOc1 were at $70.93 per barrel at 1100 GMT, up 32 cents, or 0.44 per cent, from their last close on Wednesday as OPEC cuts and US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela continued to tighten supply.

Brent and WTI have risen by around 30% and 40% respectively since the start of the year.

Saudi Arabia has slashed its oil production by more than promised as part of a pact to boost oil prices, the International Energy Agency said Thursday, while warning of mixed signals for global demand.

Global oil demand is estimated to average 99.91 million bpd this year, compared with 98.70 million bpd in 2018, OPEC said.

According to the Department of Energy, America's stores of commercial crude oil rose by 7.0m barrels over the week ending on 5 April to reach 456.5m barrels (consensus: 2.3m b/d), leaving them at their average level of the past five years.

Oil price.com stated: "The situation in Libya escalated surprisingly quickly last week when the Libyan National Army, a formation affiliated with the eastern Libyan government, launched an attack on the UN-recognized cabinet in Tripoli".

On Tuesday, crude oil futures for May ended down $0.42, at $63.98 a barrel, after rising to a high of $64.79.

Oil prices rose on Wednesday after US data showing a hefty drawdown in gasoline stockpiles overshadowed crude inventories rising to their highest levels in more than a year. The IEA warned however that the outlook for global growth remains a concern, just one day after the International Monetary Fund cut global growth projections.

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