Oil prices up with decline in United States oil rig count

Oil prices up with decline in United States oil rig count

Meanwhile, the ongoing production cuts by The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russian Federation, as well as the USA sanctions on Venezuela and the looming deadline for a decision on Iran sanctions waivers continued to play its role in tightening the global supplies, in turn, keeping the prices supported. The price of "black gold" was also supported by the decline in USA stocks.

Brent crude futures rose $2.07, or 2.88 percent, to settle at $74.04 a barrel.

Crude-oil prices have been rising sharply in global markets as OPEC is committed to rebalancing the crude oil market.

WTI futures for US crude increased by 24 cents to $ 64.00 a barrel.

On April 18, the AZERI Light FOB Ceyhan oil price was $73.82 per barrel, or $0.13 more than the previous price.

While gasoline inventories in the US also decreased by 1.2 million barrels, or 0.5 percent, to 228 million barrels during that period, the U.S.' crude oil production was down by 106,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 12.1 million bpd (mbpd) last week, the EIA data showed.

USA officials are seeking ways to prevent Iran from circumventing oil sanctions, a senior administration official said.

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The EIA also reported a gasoline production rate of 9.9 million barrels daily last week and a distillate fuel production rate of 4.8 million barrels daily. For the first time in three weeks, the energy companies cut the USA drilling rigs.

The overall sentiment in the market was buoyed by upbeat US earnings, better Chinese and USA fundamentals.

This year, oil prices were supported by the agreement between OPEC and non-cartel members to reduce production by 1.2 million barrels per day.

In the near future, demand growth and geopolitical issues are important factors to affect oil prices.

A steep decline in production from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Iraq led to rise. Production levels in Venezuela may continue to decline, and the situation in Libya may remain unstable due to civil war. "Subject to these conditions, we will not be surprised if the president extends the expiration of sanctions for buyers of Iranian oil to prevent price increases".

Traders are facing two major issues at this time: Further pressure on Iran and whether OPEC and its allies, including Russian Federation will continue the deal to reduce production. Saudi oil stocks peaked in October 2015 at a record 329.430 million barrels. OPEC's bi-annual meeting is scheduled for June 25-26, at which it may decide to extend the deal or not. As part of the agreement, Azerbaijan has reduced daily production by 20,000 barrels since January 1, 2019.

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