Fearing new oil glut, OPEC builds case for keeping supply cuts

EIA: The US imports and exports substantial volumes of petroleum

Oil Rises Strongly Supported by Cuts, Sanctions

Crude oil imports have decreased in recent years as USA crude oil production has increased.

Meanwhile, US sanctions have helped slash output from OPEC members Venezuela and Iran.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.62 per barrel, up 36 cents, or 0.62 percent, from their last settlement.

OPEC-led output cuts, sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and Saudi Arabia's plans to cut its crude oil exports in April, all contributed to crude oil's sharp upmove today.

Opec sources have said an extension of the pact is the likely scenario.

OPEC may extend production cuts as demand is expected to go down this year.

United States crude oil exports have set annual record highs in each year since 2014, most recently averaging 2.0 million bpd in 2018.

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"Stymied net imports and refinery runs clambering above the 16 million barrel-per-day mark has been enough to yield a second draw to crude inventories in three weeks", commented Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData.

US crude oil production also dipped, falling by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 12 million bpd.

Forecasts slowed United States production to a record of 13 million barrels per day (bps) until the third quarter of 2020, instead of the second quarter of previous forecasts.

The OPEC Reference Basket (ORB), a weighted average of prices for petroleum blends produced by the cartel's members, rose in February for the second consecutive month, increasing by about 9 percent, or 5.09 US dollars, month-on-month to average 63.83 USA dollars per barrel, said the report.

For 2020, the government said it expected United States crude oil demand to rise by 220,000 bpd to 21.03 million bpd, unchanged from previous forecasts. In the week ending March 8 to 449 million barrels, raw stocks fell by 2.6 million barrels, compared to analysts' forecasts for an increase of 2.7 million barrels. Data from the Petroleum Institute showed that crude oil consumption increased by 29,000 bpd. Crude oil imports to the USA fell last week by 523,000 bpd to 6.4 million bpd.

Gasoline inventories on the other hand did eke out a small increase of 0.4m barrels.

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