OPEC cuts & United States sanctions against Iran and Venezuela boosting global crude prices

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Most new supply is coming from the United States, where crude production rose by more than 2 million bpd past year to a record 11.9 million bpd, making the country the world's biggest oil producer ahead of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

Brent crude futures have risen 20 percent in 2019 to around $63 a barrel, but most of that increase took place in early January.

The global oil market will struggle this year to absorb fast-growing crude supply from outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, even with the group's production cuts and USA sanctions on Venezuela and Iran, the International Energy Agency said in a report on Wednesday. "Should oil demand growth come in line with our expectations, the greater supply losses leave risk that.spot prices rally even faster and higher than we forecast".

Brent oil prices rose on Wednesday after top exporter Saudi Arabia said it would cut crude exports and deliver an even deeper cut to its production while United States futures gained on a decline in domestic oil inventories. They closed up 1.5 percent on Wednesday, having touched their highest since February 5 at $54.60 a barrel.

Supply issues in OPEC-member Venezuela are also bolstering oil prices as the South American country suffers a political and economic crisis, with Washington introducing petroleum export sanctions against state-owned energy firm PDVSA.

On Tuesday, the Saudis said it had cut its output by nearly 800,000 bpd in January to 30.81 million bpd.

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Previous pacts by OPEC and its partners including Russian Federation, often called OPEC+, to cut back production have been marked by initial low compliance rates by certain countries.

"In quantity terms, in 2019, the US alone will grow its crude oil production by more than Venezuela's current output".

The IEA noted that new U.S. sanctions announced in January on Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA have not so far caused market jitters.

The barrel of West Texas Intermediate is up for the second session in a row today on the back of firm optimism over a potential agreement in the US-China trade talks, all despite latest news seems to leave the final decision to a Trump-Xi meeting.

Oil climbed for a second day as dwindling shipments from two of the world's biggest crude exporters eclipsed another big jump in USA supplies.

The IEA raised its estimate of growth in crude supply from outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to 1.8 million bpd in 2019, from 1.6 million bpd previously.

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