OPEC: Venezuela’s Low Oil Output Tightened Market Supplies

Oil climbs to 5-month high amid OPEC cuts, US sanctions, Libya fighting

THE price of Bonny Light, Nigeria's premium oil grade has risen from $70 to $71.74 per barrel in the global market, the highest in 2019, as the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, continue to eliminate excess supply from the volatile market.

But the group said that the market remained oversupplied and warned of slowing demand growth, according to S&P Global Platts.

Current oil demand stands at around 100 million bpd.

OPEC said it has made some progress toward achieving this goal.OECD commercial oil inventories fell to 2.63 billion barrels in February and were only 7.5 million barrels above the five-year average, according to OPEC's report.

Fighting in Libya has added to a long list of factors boosting oil prices, including OPEC supply cuts and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

Yet despite generally bullish oil markets, concerns that an economic slowdown this year will hit fuel consumption have been preventing crude prices from rising even higher, traders said.

"OPEC production has fallen 1.98 million barrels per day (bpd) from October levels", ING bank said in a note. The API reported a build in stockpiles in the week ending March 29 and any further increase could damage oil prices' climb higher.

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Crude prices could decline further if oil output in the US, the world's largest producer, continues to remain at an all-time high and economic slowdown hurts overall oil demand worldwide.

In the United States, crude oil production has risen by more than 2 million bpd since early 2018, to a record 12.2 million bpd, with many analysts expecting output to exceed 13 million bpd soon.

Meanwhile, close market watchers have predicted that oil price would continue to leap in the coming weeks, mainly because of crises in major oil and gas producing nations, especially because of crises in some oil producing nations, especially Libya, Venezuela and Iran. That is much below its quota of 10.31 million bpd under the cut agreement.

At the last OPEC meeting in Vienna, the group's members agreed to slash output by 812,000 b/d, with Russian Federation and nine other non-OPEC allies committing to a cut of 383,000 b/d for the first six months of 2019.Iraq's production fell marginally to 4.52 million b/d in March, slightly above its quota of 4.51 million b/d, according to OPEC secondary sources.

OPEC's share of the cut is 800,000 bpd from in most cases October 2018 levels, and other figures in the report showed producers were removing far more than agreed.

In Iran, hit by U.S. sanctions, output was slight down, falling 28,000 bpd to 2.70 million bpd in March.

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