OPEC on Thursday cut the forecast of global demand for its oil this year as rivals boost production, building a case for extending supply curbs beyond June to stop any new glut. OPEC countries, which did not appreciate Atlantic Alliance, especially USA, policies on Israel and the Middle East, used oil prices twice in the 1970s to intimidate the US and Western Europe.
Brent crude hit a 2019 peak of $68.14 per barrel before falling to $67.93 by 1250 GMT, up $0.38 or 0.56% from Wednesday's close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures edged up 29 cents to $58.55.
Crude oil imports to the U.S. fell last week by 523,000 bpd to 6.4 million bpd.
However, in the event of a major loss of Venezuelan supply, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries had about 2.8 million bpd of effective spare capacity, the IEA said.
USA energy firms this week reduced the number of oil rigs operating for a fourth week in a row, with drilling slowing to its lowest in almost a year, prompting the government to cut crude output growth forecasts. Short-term pullbacks should be buying opportunities given enough time, but I would be very hesitant to try to sell this market even though I know we will probably see some bearish pressure occasionally.
The Russian national currency followed the pickup in the oil price as the dollar exchange rate dropped 0.13% to 65.32 rubles on the Moscow Exchange, while the euro lost 0.12% to 74.01 rubles.
A report that a meeting between the USA and Chinese presidents to resolve a trade dispute had been delayed sent prices briefly down earlier.
"While oil demand is expected to grow at a moderate pace in 2019, it is still well below the strong growth expected in the non-OPEC supply forecast for this year".
With a nationwide blackout that paralysed the country for one week, demonstrating the unreliability of the country's electricity network, new questions are being raised about Venezuela's ability to continue to produce and export oil.
According to reports, two storage tanks exploded at a heavy-crude upgrading project in eastern Venezuela on...