US oil retreats from 2019 high on soaring production

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Continued supply reductions would further support oil prices, which are up about 25 percent this year at $68 a barrel, and incur the wrath of US President Donald Trump, who has demanded OPEC ease its efforts to bolster the market.

Venezuelan oil production fell 142,000 barrels per day in February, or 8.9 percent, to just over 1 million barrels per day compared with January and was by far the biggest drop of the 14-country OPEC, as the country faced USA sanctions imposed in late January.

Oil prices have surged to their highest level in months, with the US West Texas Intermediate rising above $58 per barrel and Brent trading north of $67.

Global benchmark Brent crude was trading at $67.38 per barrel at 0638 GMT with a 0.3 percent gain after closing Thursday at $67.19 a barrel.

Moreover, US crude oil production fell modestly for the week ended March 8. The group will discuss this at a meeting in April, although top exporter Saudi Arabia has said a decision may not be made until another gathering in June.

"Tighter global inventories from OPEC-led supply cuts and".

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The agency said it was particularly concerned about a possible further decline in production in Venezuela, where output has stabilized at 1.2 million bpd in recent months.

This week the EIA reported a fall of 3.9 MMbbls (million barrels) in USA crude oil inventories compared to a Reuters poll for a rise of 2.861 MMbbls for the week ended March 8. "As it happens, 1.2 million bpd is also the size of the output cuts agreed by OPEC countries and some non-OPEC producers". The reduction is created to cut any oil glut and prop up prices.

A continuation of the tariff war between the world's top two economies could dent growth in fuel demand and hit prices.

"Oil demand concerns are overdone", Goldman Sachs said in a note on Friday.

For 2020, the government said it expected U.S. crude oil demand to rise by 220,000 bpd to 21.03 million bpd, unchanged from previous forecasts.

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.

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