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Watchdog: Venezuela's oil industry at risk of collapse

17 March 2019

Energy prices fell off a cliff in late 2014 but have started to rebound on the back of agreed cuts by OPEC in Vienna a year ago.

Global oil demand is expected increase by 7.1 million barrels per day during the 2019-2024 period to reach 106.4 million barrels per day and that the biggest factors in the increase in oil demand are the economic growth in Asia and the petrochemical industry in the U.S. It is predicted that the U.S., Brazil, Iraq, Norway, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Guyana will be the countries that will make the greatest contribution to global oil supply to respond to the increase in global demand.

Summarizing Friday's performance was Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures group: "The market is taking a pause as it tries to digest mixed reports that give us different ideas of future supply and demand".

The U.S. bank said January global crude oil demand growth was "nearly 2.0 million barrels per day, with strength visible in both emerging markets and developed economies".

According to Bloomberg, in its monthly report, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cut forecasts for world oil demand and boosted projections for non-OPEC supply, particularly in the second half of the year.

An unexpected dip in US crude oil inventories and production supported prices, traders said. This translates to a serious weakening of both Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia's hands in terms of dominating both production and global oil prices.

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The WTI Crude Oil market had a choppy session on Thursday, as we have broken above the 200 day EMA. We will observe the economic-political consequences of the USA cornering Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela in the global oil game.

The March 17-18 meetings in Baku, Azerbaijan, will be the first ministerial gathering of the Opec+ coalition after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih stressed last month the need to continue with the production cuts. Market shortages have been exacerbated by United States sanctions on oil exports by OPEC members Iran and Venezuela.

IEA President Fatih Birol, whose remarks were included in the report, said that there might be extraordinary changes in the global oil industry in the future and that the US would continue to influence the global oil market over this five-year period. Moreover, because of the fall in United States crude oil production, the Brent-WTI spread might have contracted more than $1 in the trailing week. With increasing competition, the global demand for OPEC production will not return to pre-2016 levels during the period in question.

US crude ended the week 4.1 percent higher, and Brent was up 1.9 percent.

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.

While trying to make sense of these mixed messages (which are helped along by dramatic media headlines that often don't reflect the messages themselves) may be near impossible, Goldman Sachs in a note on Friday blew apart the notion in many analytical quarters of oil demand weakening by stating that demand in fact grew by 1.55 million barrels per day (bpd) in January alone, a strong result despite a tough comparison with high consumption past year. Production in Iran and Libya, also exempt, was little changed.

Watchdog: Venezuela's oil industry at risk of collapse