United States crude oil imports, exports up last week

Oil Holds Gains on Signs of Shale Slowdown as OPEC Output FallsMore

"It would seem that the market is really not too anxious yet about the potential loss of Venezuelan barrels", said analysts at JBC Energy in a report.

"Also underpinning the market is strong adherence to the OPEC-led supply cuts during January", reports OilPrice.com.

Following a USA decision to impose sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry last week, Guaido and the Trump administration have sought to appoint a new board of directors for Citgo.

Further gains in the price of U.S. crude oil are possible as the recovery that began in late December past year shows no sign of reversing just yet.

Earlier, oil price came under pressure following weekly data showing rise in USA stocks.

As of 7:35 a.m. EST, West Texas Intermediate front-month crude future prices fell 0.9 percent to $53.53 per barrel, while Brent future prices fell 0.5 percent to $62.36 per barrel as of the same time.

Venezuela, which produced 1.15 million barrels per day in December, was forced to look for alternative clients for its crude oil following sanctions that prevent the state oil company PDVSA from exporting to the US unless the revenues are paid to opposition leader Juan Guaido.

In gasoline, the authority reported a build of 500,000 barrels, with daily production at a little less than 9.9 million barrels.

"This is already quite advanced, I hope that next week it can be announced by our representative in the United States", Paparoni said, in reference to Venezuelan opposition envoy Carlos Vecchio.

Venezuela, like other OPEC members Iran and Libya, was exempted from making voluntary curbs under the deal on expectations that its output faced involuntary downward pressure in 2019. That's down from 10.643 million bpd in December, representing a cut that was 70,000 bpd deeper than targeted under the OPEC-led pact to balance the market and support prices.

About a dozen tankers carrying over 7 million barrels of Venezuelan crude and products were anchored this week at the U.S Gulf Coast waiting for directions on how to pay for the cargoes following the sanctions, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

Worries about weaker global economic growth and the U.S. "China trade talks", said Gene McGillian, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. Oil fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion almost stalled in January.

Russia has been in full compliance with its pledge to gradually cut its oil production, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in a statement on Monday, adding that production fell by 47,000 barrels per day (bpd) in January from October.

With a nervous market, traders are focused on the U.S. State of the Union address by President Donald Trump.

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