March 19, 2019

Venezuela’s falling oil supply is a major ‘challenge’ to global energy markets

17 March 2019, 12:26 | Joann Bryant

US oil settles 0.6% higher at $58.61 a barrel, hits 4-month high

Crude oil

This might limit U.S. crude oil exports, which could increase global oil supply.

The WTI Crude Oil market broke higher during the week, clearing the little bit of resistance that we have been involved with for the last several weeks. This led to the US taking a number of steps in the 1980s to take away OPEC's monopoly in determining oil prices, and the USA has strengthened global commodity markets with Chicago and NY.

In the Middle East, the United States aims to cut Iran's crude exports by about 20 percent to below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from May by requiring importing countries to reduce purchases to avoid US sanctions, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The association also warned in its report that, despite efforts to balance the market, the crude supply could grow stronger than demand during 2019.

With OPEC withholding supply and USA sanctions preventing Iranian and Venezuelan oil from entering markets, global crude flow data in Re-definitive showed a slight supply deficit likely appeared in the first quarter.

"Oil markets are reacting to the possibility the cuts will be extended", Naohiro Niimura, a partner at Market Risk Advisory, said by phone.

The sole point of consolation for Opec and its allies including Russian Federation in the report was that though the global oil demand growth is set to ease as the Chinese dragon slows down, yet it would still rise by an annual average of 1.2mbpd to 2024, reaching 106.4mbpd then. We will observe the economic-political consequences of the USA cornering Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela in the global oil game.

With production in Canada also increasing, and most of its exports moving to USA refineries, more United States crude should be available for export.

OPEC calls on oil producers to continue to support oil market stability in 2019, Trend reports citing the OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report. With increasing competition, the global demand for OPEC production will not return to pre-2016 levels during the period in question.

The U.S. imposed nuclear related sanctions against Iran in May, which led prices to increase in the following months until October on anticipation of reduced supply.

Meanwhile, a political and economic crisis worsened by US sanctions has slashed Venezuelan crude exports.

Energy markets are being buffeted by a number of economic crosswinds.

On December 7, 2018, an agreement was reached at the fifth ministerial meeting of the non-OPEC member and non-OPEC countries in Vienna to cut daily oil production by 1.2 million barrels. Production in Iran and Libya, also exempt, was little changed.

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