Oil price spikes to $64

Oil price spikes to $64

International Brent crude futures were up 33 cents, or 0.53 percent, at $62.84 a barrel, down from a high of $63.63.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $55.13 per barrel, down 13 cents, or 0.24 percent, from their last settlement.

The latter problem, Reuters reports, concerns an aspect of sanctions that bans US buyers of Venezuelan crude to pay for the commodity directly to PDVSA accounts.

US oil prices inched up on Tuesday, buoyed by expectations of tightening global supply due to USA sanctions on Venezuela and production cuts led by OPEC.

Oil prices slipped on Tuesday, falling from two-month highs as concerns over a global economic slowdown crept back into the market, and a stronger dollar also weighed. "Because the number was a little disappointing, it played into the slowing demand scenario", said Phil Flynn, oil analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Prices also dipped after data showed USA crude inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for US crude futures, rose by more than 943,000 barrels in the week to February 1, traders said, citing data from market intelligence firm Genscape.

Crude futures earlier posted around two-month highs. Brent reached $63.63 a barrel, the highest since December 7, while WTI climbed to $55.75 a barrel, the strongest since November 21.

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Another factor behind the oil market rally is the supply cuts imposed by the member-states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied oil producers.

OPEC oil supply fell in January by the largest amount in two years despite sluggish production declines from Russian Federation, according to a Reuters survey. That offset limited compliance with the output-cutting deal so far by non-OPEC Russia. These curbs have been compounded by involuntary losses that the Venezuelan sanctions could deepen.

"While Venezuela's output reportedly rose last month, fresh United States sanctions on the country could see 0.5 to 1 percent of global supply curtailed", said Vivek Dhar, commodities analyst for Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a note on Monday.

Market participants are also watching for developments surrounding the U.S.

Concerns about the pace of global economic growth remained. The U.S. along with several South American countries and a handful of European states have thrown their support behind Guaido and insisted that elected president Maduro call new elections and ensure their transparency. "China trade talks", said Gene McGillian, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

U.S. President Donald Trump last week said he would meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in coming weeks to try to settle the two countries' dispute.

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