Oil prices rise on OPEC's supply cuts and healthy demand

US set to overtake Saudi Arabia as biggest oil exporter on back of Texas shale boom

At 11:22 GMT, May WTI crude oil is trading $57.63, up $0.51 or +0.89% and May Brent crude oil is at $67.14, up $0.56 or +0.85%.

Crude oil prices have been trending higher today on the back of falling Venezuelan and Iranian production, squeezed by US sanctions, and also thanks to an update from Saudi Arabia that it plans to continue cutting its production deeper than it agreed on last December to support prices.

USA crude oil output will rise almost 2.8 million bpd, growing to 13.7 million bpd in 2024 from an average of just under 11 million bpd in 2018, the IEA said, making the United States by far the biggest oil producer in the world.

Saudi Arabia has voluntarily cut its supply by more than the deal requires and in April will keep output well below 10 million barrels per day (bpd), the Saudi official said - less than the 10.311 million bpd that the kingdom had agreed to pump.

USA crude stocks also fell unexpectedly last week, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday, as supply from various producers was being curbed. Six analysts polled by Reuters estimate they rose 2.9 million barrels last week. In February, US crude oil exports hit an all-time high, with shipments amounting to over 3.6 million barrels a day.

On Tuesday, the EIA revised down its estimate for domestic crude production growth in 2019.

Venezuela's opposition-run congress on Monday declared a "state of alarm" over a five-day power blackout that has crippled the country's oil exports and left millions of citizens scrambling to find food and water.

The terminal resumed operations by Wednesday, according to two sources and Refinitiv Eikon data, but shipments have not started up.

"The decrease in net crude oil imports (December, 2018) was driven primarily by lower imports from Saudi Arabia (down 160,000 bpd month-on-month) and higher exports to Asian countries such as South Korea (up 200,000 bpd month-on-month), China (up 90,000 bpd month-on-month) and India (80,000 bpd month-on-month)", Barclays bank said. Power has been restored to many parts of the country in recent days.

Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih told Reuters on Sunday it would be too early to change OPEC output policy at the group's meeting in April.

The report comes as OPEC countries and allied major oil producers led by Russian Federation are trying to balance the oil market.

"The ministers reviewed various Saudi investment proposals in the Indian oil and gas sector, including the urgent steps to be taken to expedite the implementation of the first joint venture West Coast Refinery and Petrochemical Project in Maharashtra, estimated to cost the USA $44 billion, which will be the largest greenfield refinery in the world", a government statement said on Sunday.

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