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Oil Prices Spike As EIA Confirms Inventory Draw

14 March 2019

The IEA's forecast came just a few weeks after the U.S. exported a record 3.6 million barrels of crude oil on a daily basis, with the country being also a major exporter of petroleum products including refined fuels.

At 11:22 GMT, May WTI crude oil is trading $57.63, up $0.51 or +0.89% and May Brent crude oil is at $67.14, up $0.56 or +0.85%.

Oil prices have been receiving broad support this year from supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-affiliated allies like Russian Federation aimed at tightening markets.

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An oil pump is seen operating in the Permian Basin near Midland, Texas, U.S. on May 3, 2017.

Brent crude futures were at $66.76 per barrel, up 18 cents, or 0.3 percent.

US crude stocks fell last week as refineries hiked output, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. Distillate fuel inventories gained a modest 400,000 barrels, after falling by 2.4 million barrels in the last week of February. "It looks very supportive as refiners come out of maintenance".

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In Venezuela, the worst blackout on record has left most of the South American country without power for six days, leaving hospitals struggling to keep equipment running, food rotting in the tropical heat and exports from the country's main oil terminal stranded.

The EIA revised down its projected 2020 production figure from 13.20 million bpd to 13.03 million bpd.

The terminal resumed operations by Wednesday, according to two sources and Refinitiv Eikon data, but shipments have not started up.

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"The ministers reviewed various Saudi investment proposals in the Indian oil and gas sector, including the urgent steps to be taken to expedite the implementation of the first joint venture West Coast Refinery and Petrochemical Project in Maharashtra, estimated to cost the United States $44 billion, which will be the largest greenfield refinery in the world", a government statement said on Sunday.

Oil prices have also received support from supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russian Federation. USA crude shipments are projected to stand at 8.93 million barrels a day in five years - just 0.59 million less that Riyadh, and 0.24 million barrels more than Moscow.

Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih told Reuters on Sunday it would be too early to change OPEC output policy at the group's meeting in April.

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A host of involuntary supply curbs in OPEC members, caused by unrest in Libya and United States sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, have also boosted prices.

Oil Prices Spike As EIA Confirms Inventory Draw