OPEC stresses need for 2019 oil supply cuts as rivals pump more

OPEC stresses need for 2019 oil supply cuts as rivals pump more

In its monthly report released on Thursday, the group cut the forecast of demand for its crude this year and predicted strong growth in non-OPEC supply.

An OPEC source told Reuters on Tuesday OPEC would stick to its agreement to tighten crude supplies regardless of Trump's recent tweet. Crude oil imports to the U.S. fell last week by 523,000 bpd to 6.4 million bpd.

Two sources told Reuters that the United States also aims to curb Iran's crude exports by about 20% to below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from May, likely reining in waivers for Tehran's remaining customers. "It will see the United States account for 70 percent of the rise in global oil production and some 75 percent of the expansion in [liquefied natural gas] trade over the next five years".

The 11 Opec members required to cut output achieved 105 per cent compliance in February with pledged curbs, according to a Reuters calculation, up from January.

Even so, with the demand for Opec crude forecast at 30.46 million bpd, the report indicates that the market would still face a small 2019 surplus if OPEC kept pumping at February›s rate, as rivals such as the United States boost output.

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Iraq also aims to sell more of its oil on the prized Asian markets, and in November it allocated 67 percent of its 2019 oil sales to Asia. "Gasoline inventories drew strongly, now down more than 12 million barrels-or 5%-in four weeks, while distillate inventories ticked higher as implied demand slipped last week".

Earlier this week, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said production cuts by the OPEC and allies, including Russian Federation, would likely continue until June, at least.

"Oil prices were supported by expectations of tightening oil supply in the coming months amid increased unplanned outages", it added.

Brent was up 98 cents, or 1.47 percent, to $67.63 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate climbed $1.50, or 2.64 percent, to $58.37 per barrel.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $58.44 a barrel at the same time, posting almost a 0.2 percent increase, after ending the previous session at $58.34 per barrel.

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