Oil prices mixed as OPEC renews call for cuts, lowers demand outlook

Oil prices up with fall in US crude stocks production

Opec on Thursday cut the forecast of global demand for its oil this year as rivals boost production.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures reached four-months highs on Thursday, as a production curb agreement by OPEC and its partners along with USA sanctions on Iran and Venezuela tightened global supplies.

The production cut agreement by Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and Russia-led OPEC is also contributing to the removal of additional supplies in the market to push prices higher. In its March Short-Term Energy Outlook, EIA forecasts that the United States will become a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products on a monthly basis later this year and on an annual basis in 2020.

Growth in China's industrial output fell to a 17-year low of 5.3 percent in the first two months of the year, official data showed on Thursday, pointing to further weakness in the world's second-biggest economy and top crude importer.

U.S. crude oil exports have set annual record highs in each year since 2014, most recently averaging 2.0 million bpd in 2018. It kept its forecast for growth in global oil demand this year unchanged at 1.24 million bpd.

Seperately, oil prices nudged higher on Thursday to sit just off a four-month high reached in the previous session as investors focused on global production cuts and supply disruptions in Venezuela.

'There Is No Meritocracy': College Admissions Scandal Exposes Systemic Rot, Progressives Say
Several defendants, including Huffman, were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. She was among dozens swept up in what prosecutors called the largest college admissions fraud scheme they'd ever seen.

The cost of the futures contracts of Brent crude oil for May 2019 delivery gained 0.71% amounting to $68.03 per barrel on London's ICE as of 11:10 a.m. Moscow time today, according to the trading data.

Gasoline inventories were down 4.62 million barrels last week, almost twice the expected drop. Brent touched $67.39 a barrel on Monday, its highest since February 25.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.29 per barrel, up 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their last settlement.

On Sunday, Saudi oil minister Khalid Al-Falih said it would be too early to change OPEC+ output policy at the group's meeting in April.

"Opec continues to cut output amid ongoing supply issues, while the situation in Venezuela remains bleak", ANZ Bank said in a research note.

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