Global oil supply to swamp demand in 2019 despite output cuts - IEA

Crude Oil

In the report, OPEC said its oil output fell by 797,000 bpd month on month to 30.806 million bpd in January.

The barrel of West Texas Intermediate is up for the second session in a row today on the back of firm optimism over a potential agreement in the US-China trade talks, all despite latest news seems to leave the final decision to a Trump-Xi meeting.

OPEC members along with allies including Russian Federation agreed in early December to trim production by 1.2 mbd from January 1, in a bid to eliminate a production glut and shore up prices. The price has largely plateaued since then, in spite of the subsequent imposition of US sanctions.

The oil price has risen by 20 percent so far this year, yet most of that increase came in early January, before the imposition of US sanctions on Venezuela's energy sector.

USA sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, together with OPEC's output cuts, have therefore removed mostly medium and heavy oils from the market, leaving lighter grades relatively unaffected.

Additionally, the International Energy Agency said energy market participants may be able to adjust to USA sanctions against Venezuela's crude industry.

Oil descended into a bear market in November, a swift drop from four-year highs seen in October, as traders grew anxious over strengthening United States production and an outlook for softer global fuel demand.

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The sudden embargo on Venezuela's exports has therefore sent refiners in the United States and elsewhere scrambling to find alternative supplies compatible with their equipment.

"Even so, headline benchmark crude oil prices have hardly changed on news of the sanctions". Analysts were looking for a build of about 2.300 million barrels. Analysts were looking for a build of 508,000 barrels for the week.

Saudi Aramco is the world's biggest oil company, producing ten million barrels of oil a day and managing 260 billion barrels in reserves.

"Oil markets continue to focus at the macro level on the dual notions of adequate supply and softening demand", Frank Verrastro, senior vice president for the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a U.S. think-tank, said in a note.

Helping to keep a lid on the market are adequate global inventories, the prospect of weakened demand tied both to U.S.

Mars, a medium crude grade from the U.S. Gulf, has moved to a rare premium over Louisiana Light Sweet. In the meantime, the markets seem well supported with buyers just waiting for any signs of increased demand.

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