From the Field
Oil prices gain amid supply concerns
LONDON, April 1, 2019 – Oil prices gained on Monday in Asia amid supply concerns. The upcoming Sino-US trade talks in Washington is expected to receive some attention this week.
US Crude Oil WTI Futures was up 0.6% to $60.5 by 12:49 AM ET (04:49 GMT). International Brent Oil Futures rose 0.8% to $68.15.
OPEC, which together with some non-affiliated producers like Russia is known as ‘OPEC+’, agreed late last year to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to remove a glut and prop up prices.
Last week, the US President called upon OPEC+ to bring more crude on to the market to help bring down increasing oil prices. However, his comments had little impact on the oil markets and the reaction of OPEC+ has been muted so far.
US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, both oil exporters, have also contributed to a tighter market.
Meanwhile, fresh data on US commercial crude inventories and production activity will also capture the market’s attention this week.
Baker Hughes said on Friday that US energy firms last week reduced the number of oil rigs operating to the lowest level in nearly a year.
Meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration reported last week that US crude supplies unexpectedly rose by nearly 2.8 million barrels.
Market players will also be watching for any important developments on the US-China trade front. Chinese Vice Premier Lui He will travel to Washington this week to meet with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for further talks.
The US and China are the world’s two largest oil-consuming nations.