OPEC squeezes oil output to 4-year low, Russian Federation compliance low

OPEC squeezes oil output to 4-year low, Russian Federation compliance low

Iranian oil industry has been under pressure from the US efforts to isolate the country by reimposing sanctions.

"Oil production is rapidly falling and companies that normally resell Venezuelan crude have not found ways to mitigate the effect of the USA sanctions", Barclays bank said.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday said that USA crude inventories fell by 998,000 barrels in the week to February 8 to 447.2 million, compared with analyst expectations for an increase of 2.7 million barrels.

While the region, which accounts for about half of the world's refining capacity, is still able to source oil, it's becoming harder to get hold of the grades of crude that many Asian refiners prefer.

As of writing, Brent is trading at $63.06 per barrel, representing a 1 percent gain on the day.

Analysts say a rise in oil prices is good for the country that sank into recession previous year as a result of sharp dip in oil prices.

IEA figures show Venezuala's output dropping by roughly 30,000 barrels per day to 1.26 mbd.

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Although the USA reimposed oil export sanctions last November, it gave a six-month exemption or wavier to eight friendly countries: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece to continue buying a restricted quantity of Iranian oil, but it is uncertain if Washington will extend the waivers beyond May.

In the United States, energy firms last week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the second time in three weeks, a weekly report by Baker Hughes said on Friday.

Iranian heavy oil price increased $1.45 in January, according to OPEC's latest monthly report published on Tuesday. The price has largely plateaued since then, in spite of the subsequent imposition of US sanctions.

Refineries are built to handle a certain quality of crude, and those which process so-called heavy crude from Venezuela, Canada or the Middle East can not be easily converted to treat the light shale oil that is now being produced in greater quantities in the United States.

The increase came despite falling net imports, which dropped to the lowest on record, as domestic crude production remained at peak levels for the fifth straight week. In quality terms, it is more complicated. In response to Maduro's call for aid, an OPEC spokesman familiar with the subject matter had been quoted saying that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), declined to make any formal statement and said that they were more concerned about their policies, not politics. Back in December, OPEC and 10 other producers let by Russian Federation agreed to restrict oil production collectively by 1.2 million barrels a day for the first half of 2019.

The recent developments in the crude oil market have all but eliminated the discount enjoyed by heavy crudes, and in some cases, physical cargoes of some heavy grades have traded at premiums to light crudes.

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