In its latest monthly oil market report, the Paris-based IEA said production by OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia dropped to its lowest level in two years in March after the cartel agreed to cuts with Russian Federation and other ex-Soviet states.
OPEC production meanwhile fell by 0.55 mbd in March to 30.13 mbd - a four-year low - largely due to cuts in Saudi Arabia and crisis-hit Venezuela, the IEA said.
Oil prices fell on Thursday, pressured as U.S. crude stockpiles surged to their highest levels in nearly 17 months amid record production and as economic concerns cast doubt over growth in demand for fuel.
Data released by the Energy Information Administration this morning showed crude supplies in the US increased by 7 million barrels last week, significantly larger than the expected rise.
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The EIA expected that West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices will average 8 dollars per barrel lower than Brent prices in the first half of 2019 before the discount gradually falls to 4 dollars per barrel in late-2019 and through 2020.
WTI (oil futures on NYMEX) finally cracked the key resistance-turned-support at 64.00, as the sellers remain in command so far this Thursday, as the sentiment remains weighed down by mounting concerns over the economic slowdown and surging U.S. crude supplies.
"The global oil market is clearly moving back towards balance thanks to OPEC+ production cuts", ING bank said.
Oil prices rose to fresh five-month highs today as markets tightened amid OPEC-led supply cuts, United States sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, and escalating violence in Libya.
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Current oil demand stands around 100 million bpd.
"While no industry lasts forever, the age of oil is far from over", Bernstein said.
In the USA crude production reached a global record 12.2 million bpd in late March.
"Even though the crude oil inventory rise was almost equal in size, the focus of the complex, as we head into peak summer driving season, is gasoline", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in NY.
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In Iran, hit by US sanctions, output was slight down, falling 28,000 b/d to 2.70 million b/d in March.Fellow exempt member Libya pumped 1.098 million b/d in March, up 196,000 b/d from the previous month, but output remains at risk as the country is on the brink of a possible civil war. The IEA warned however that the outlook for global growth remains a concern, just one day after the International Monetary Fund cut global growth projections.