Oil Prices Hit Highest Mark Of 2019

Oil set for biggest quarterly rise since 2009

And as Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, reminded followers, any price fluctuations will always frustrate certain factions and please others, regardless of dramatic media headlines: "Crude oil prices are rising and in turn gasoline prices will follow as the US tightens sanctions on both Iran and Venezuela, taking supplies off the market - at the same time that OPEC and non-OPEC producers are more than happy to see prices rise to $70 Brent and higher".

Global benchmark Brent futures settled up 9 cents at $69.40.

Brent crude rose 15 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $69.16 a barrel by 0636 GMT, having earlier touched $69.50, the highest since mid-November.

"Crude imports rose and crude exports fell, which translates into considerably higher net imports".

On Thursday, Trump again called for OPEC to pump more oil to lower prices.

Crude oil futures on the Multi Commodity Exchange of India rose to a five-month high but came off their highs as the rupee strengthened against the dollar, analysts said. The global benchmark crude's premium over WTI traded at $6.86 a barrel.

"Those are the issues that have supported the market here", said Bob Yawger, director of futures at Mizuho in NY.




Earlier this week, a survey from Reuters said OPEC's oil production in March 2019 fell to its lowest level since February 2015.

In a note to investors, Commerzbank said that the EIA could revise down U.S. output, with the agency recording 100,000 barrels a day (bpd) decrease in production in January to 11.9 million bpd.

US Vice President Mike Pence this week confirmed Washington would continue to target Venezuela, citing world oil prices as low enough to allow for the measures.

The world's biggest exporter, Saudi Arabia, over-delivered on the group's supply-cutting pact while Venezuelan output fell further due to USA sanctions and earlier power outages.

USA crude production climbed by 100,000 barrels per day to a record 12.2 million bpd, government data showed.

Late Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build in crude oil inventory of 3.0 million barrels for the week-ending March 29. In February, Nigeria produced 1.88 million bpd, 190,000 bpd above its OPEC cap. Therefore, OPEC is likely to overlook Nigeria's excess oil production since its offsetting market deficit and moderating prices.

According to EIA, crude oil prices were expected to decrease in 2019.

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