Oil rises for fourth day, shrugs off inventory build

Oil rises for fourth day, shrugs off inventory build

Brent futures rose 22 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $69.59 a barrel by 0028 GMT, after earlier reaching $69.68, the highest since November 13.

Production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) helped push the group's supply to a four-year low in March, a Reuters survey found. US stockpiles probably declined by 900,000 barrels last week, according to another Bloomberg survey before government figures are published on Wednesday.

Oil's pattern on the price charts could lead to further gains.

Apart from the significant cutback from Saudi Arabia, crude prices received a significant boost from pending sanctions against Iran and potential disruption in Venezuelan oil production due to sanctions pressure on the country's energy sector.

"The supply cuts have been there for a while but Venezuela is not improving", said Olivier Jakob, analyst at Petromatrix. "The general belief is that the OPEC+ effort is sufficient to reduce global oil inventories in the medium term".

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USA crude was up 43 cents at $62.02, rising above $62 for the first time since early November. It traded at 62.07 as of 11:06 a.m.in London.

As for Brent crude, the global benchmark, the price continues to edge towards the psychologically important $70/barrel level.

The 14 OPEC members pumped 295,000 barrels less oil a day in March than in February, restricting total output to 30.385 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg survey of officials, analysts and ship-tracking data. Gasoline production, the authority said, averaged 9.8 million bpd, compared with 9.7 million barrels a week earlier.

On the supply front, booming American production has steadied, with the USA government reporting on Friday that domestic output in the world's top crude producer edged lower in January to 11.9 million barrels per day.

Venezuela's state-run energy company, PDVSA, kept oil exports near 1 million barrels per day in March despite US sanctions and power outages that crippled its main export terminal, according to PDVSA documents and Refinitiv Eikon data, Reuters reported later in the day. The United States is likely to renew waivers to sanctions for most countries buying Iranian crude, including the biggest buyers China and India, in exchange for pledges to cut combined imports to below 1 million barrels per day. Saudi Aramco can pump oil at a fraction of the cost of rivals and extracts more than the output of the five biggest worldwide producers combined, according to figures from the company's dollar bond offer prospectus.

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