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Oil Prices Up As EIA Confirms Crude Draw

22 March 2018

Crude prices increased around 2.1 percent on Tuesday amid concerns that the USA could withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal in addition to fears that rising tensions in the Middle East could hinder the security of the crude supply.

Crude prices have been.

The International Energy Agency said last week that Venezuela, where an economic crisis has cut oil production by nearly half since early 2005 to well below 2 million barrels per day (bpd) PRODN-VE , was "clearly vulnerable to an accelerated decline", and that such a disruption could tip global markets into deficit.

Stimulated by yesterday's surprise crude stockpiles decline estimated by API, at 2.74 million barrels, WTI today traded at US$64.24 at the time of writing, with Brent crude at US$67.97 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at 63.82 dollars a barrel at 0027 GMT, up 28 cents, or 0.4 per cent, from their previous close.

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The U.S.' increasing arms sales to Saudi Arabia also raises concerns that tensions between the Kingdom and Iran could threaten the security of oil supplies from the region.

First, OPEC can not contain broader macro events, as we saw in early February, nor does it really have any control over output in several countries that fall under the auspices of the Declaration of Cooperation.

But even though Tuesday's market performance was more in line with trading activity in 2018 as a whole, the price discrepancy between WTI and Brent worries Matt Stanley, a fuel broker at Freight Investor Services International.

Official US production and inventory data will be released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) later on Wednesday. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts are forecasting a rise of 2.6 million barrels in supplies, which have already gained in six of the past seven weeks. "Iran nuclear tensions are not leaving the picture anytime soon, and the possible reimposition of US oil sanctions should keep the oil bulls charging near term", he said. U.S. President Donald Trump has told European leaders they must "fix the awful flaws" in the Iran nuclear deal or the U.S. would refuse to extend its sanctions relief on the country. Donald Trump hinted at a withdrawal from a deal curbing Iran's nuclear program as a USA visit by Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Bin Salman began. The production rise has capped oil price gains. April heating oil rose 2.4% to $1.952 a gallon.

Oil Prices Up As EIA Confirms Crude Draw