Oil rises on hopes for US-China trade breakthrough

Oil rises on hopes for US-China trade breakthrough

Nigeria's crude oil production including condensate has taken a dip, falling to 1.999 million barrels per day in January from 2.081 million bpd in December, figures from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has revealed.

OPEC's monthly oil market report said that OPEC crude oil production in January decreased by 797 thousand barrel per day (tb/d) to average 30.81 mb/d, according to secondary sources.

The Energy Information Administration reported that US crude stockpiles climbed by 3.6 million barrels in the week through February 8, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2.7 million barrel.

The steep rise in availability of US shale oil is leading not only to a build in domestic inventories of crude, but also in refined products.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up $1.07, or 1.7 percent, at $63.49 a barrel at 9:55 a.m. EST (14:55 GMT), while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures were up 91 cents, or 1.7 percent, at $54.01. "China trade talks, ignoring the risks now in place from the loss of Venezuelan barrels", USA bank J.P. Morgan said in a weekly note.

"This report is bearish", said Phil Flynn an oil analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

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Global supply fell 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) to 99.7 million bpd in January, said the monthly report on Wednesday by the International Energy Agency.

Oil demand was lowered by 0.01 mb/d and 0.02 mb/d in Latin America and the Middle East, respectively, said the cartel.

The possible extension of the White House's March 1 deadline on tariffs increased investor optimism that the world's two largest economies can resolve their trade spat, boosting stocks around the world.

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

Less oil exports than it expected and the possibility of waivers not being extended to major buyers are more bad news for the Iranian government which has based its next fiscal year's (starts March 21) budget on 1.54 mb/d oil export.

WTI prices were also weighed down by the closure of a 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude distillation unit (CDU) at Phillips 66's Wood River, Illinois, refinery following a fire on Sunday. A high-level USA delegation led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will hold talks on Thursday and Friday with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the top economic adviser to President Xi Jinping.

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