Venezuelan opposition readies US fund to receive oil revenue

Venezuelan opposition readies US fund to receive oil revenue

There is ample spare capacity in other oil producers and strategic reserves to compensate for a loss of Venezuela's crude exports, helping explain the tepid reaction of global oil prices to USA sanctions announced a week ago.

The API reported a 2.5M barrel build during last week.

The potential gusher comes as Venezuela's production plunges amid an economic crisis and USA sanctions targeting the country's oil sector.

US crude futures were down 17 cents, or 0.31 percent, at $54.39 per barrel by 1215 GMT.

The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that US crude inventories rose by 2.5 million barrels last week at a time of weakening global demand, Morning Star reported.

Supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies since January have been supporting prices.

In 2018, India had imported 16.5 mln tn of crude oil from the South American country, accounting for around 8% of the total crude oil imports.

Brent crude futures were down 24 cents, or 0.38 percent, at $62.27 a barrel, off a high of $63.63.

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The Trump administration has imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil firm PDVSA, aimed at severely curbing the OPEC member's crude exports to the United States and at pressuring socialist President Nicolas Maduro to step down.

A report published by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) last week showed that the country's oil production averaged a record 11.9 million barrels a day in November, up 345,000 from October and up almost 1.8 million compared with November 2017's average figures. US sanctions on Venezuela's state oil company could also lift prices, though they have yet to trigger any sharp increase.

The producers' alliance, known as OPEC+, began cutting production from last month to avert a new supply glut.

Quevedo said USA sanctions and trade wars will affect oil prices in 2019. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.

"Despite several forays in WTI above our prior resistance of $55, the market continues to draft back down largely under the pressure of this week's stronger dollar", Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.

-China trade war, which has dragged on world markets as investors worry that the dispute could contribute to a potential global economic slowdown.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in his State of the Union address that a trade deal with China was possible.

Senior US and Chinese officials are poised to start another round of trade talks next week.

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