IEA warns 'significant' Venezuela outages could present 'challenge' to oil market

OPEC Maintains 2019 Global Oil Demand Growth Forecast

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

Traders said oil prices were supported by OPEC-led supply cut till June this year and the United States sanctions against Venezuela and Iran.

In its monthly report, OPEC said it's maintaining its previous estimate for global oil demand to grow by 1.24 million barrels per day this year to 99.96 million barrels.

Two sources told Reuters that the USA also aims to curb Iran's crude exports by about 20% to below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from May, likely reining in waivers for Tehran's remaining customers.

OPEC agreed on December 7, led by Saudi Arabia's requests to cut output to prop up prices, to reduce output by 800,000 barrels per day, to be matched by another 400,000 barrels-per-day production cut by some non-OPEC nations led by Russian Federation, starting January 1.

Goldman said, "current fundamentals will tighten physical markets further", driving up spot Brent crude futures above 70 dollars per barrel "as supply losses continue (and) demand growth beats low consensus expectations".

It forecasts growing demand in China and other Asian countries.

"This highlights the continued shared responsibility of all participating producing countries to avoid a relapse of the imbalance and continue to support oil market stability in 2019". OPEC+ changed course after prices slid from $86 in October, making them wary of a new glut.

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.

The OPEC decline in February comes after the cartels' production in January fell by 797,000 barrels per day to average almost 30.8 million barrels per day.

OPEC's share of the cut is 800,000 bpd, and the report showed producers were over-delivering. In 2018, the United States contributed 79 percent of the 2.8 million bpd of non-OPEC output growth.

Production cutbacks by OPEC nations are building a supply cushion that could be called upon to mitigate a possible supply shock from an abrupt drop in crisis-hit Venezuela's output, the IEA said Friday.

The 11 OPEC members required to cut output achieved 105 percent compliance in February with pledged curbs, according to a Reuters calculation, up from January. The newspaper article also states that US energy gains will have a price for the environment and that Change.org has described the situation as a "climate disaster".

Saudi Arabia's oil-exporting adventure, which started nearly 70 years ago, brought forward, led by Saudi Arabia, the initiative to establish the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with 11 Arab and two Latin American countries in 1960.

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