OPEC's oil exports to United States fell to five-year low in January

Crude Oil

US crude inventories rose by 2.5 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday. The sanctions aim to block USA refiners from paying into PDVSA accounts controlled by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Weighing on oil markets, USA government data showed new orders for US -made goods unexpectedly fell in November, with sharp declines in demand for machinery and electrical equipment.

Meanwhile, most analysts expect US sanctions targeting Venezuela's crude industry to sharply limit oil transactions between Caracas and other countries.

Oil prices fell sharply today as a report showed a rise in USA inventories and fears about the impact of sanctions on Venezuela started to fade.

Guaido's team is planning for a post-Maduro government with an emergency scheme to supply fuel domestically, given widespread shortages across Venezuela, Goicoechea said.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 43 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $54.09 a barrel after posting a session low of $52.86 a barrel.

"I couldn't predict the oil price but we are planning BP between $50 and $65", he added. USA sanctions on Venezuela's state oil company could also lift prices, though they have yet to trigger any sharp increase.

"While Venezuela's output reportedly rose last month, fresh U.S. sanctions on the country could see 0.5 to 1 percent of global supply curtailed", said Vivek Dhar, commodities analyst for Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a note on Monday.

Morse predicted that moving forward "We have plenty of potentially bullish moves in the market" following a period of soft demand before the seasonal fuel consumption rise begins around May, with Brent rising into the mid-$60 range and hitting $70 before year end - which the researcher believes will encourage USA producers to allocate more money to drilling.

Venezuela, like fellow OPEC members Iran and Libya, was exempt from production curbs under the OPEC+ deal on expectations that its output faced involuntary downward pressure in 2019.

Global economic worries have weighed on market sentiment in recent days, offsetting support from signs that global supplies are tightening.

Market participants are also watching for developments surrounding the U.S. Oil prices fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion almost stalled in January.

With a nervous market, traders are focused on the US State of the Union address by President Donald Trump. Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are poised to start another round of talks next week.



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