Crude oil settles 1 percent higher over optimisms of market rebalance

Oil prices tick over near 2019 highs

Oil prices tick over near 2019 highs

At the same time, two key OPEC members exempt from the deal - Venezuela and Iran - have seen production fall as a result of US sanctions on both of those countries' oil industries.

Another factor helping oil prices to surge of late is sanctions placed on Iranian and Venezuelan crude exports by USA authorities, with the ongoing crisis in Libya hurting its supply.

"The U.S. -China trade talks boosted prices with the promise of higher energy demand if global growth gets back on track", said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst at OANDA.

As for the USA shale juggernaut, Kevin O'Brien, chief business officer at Orbital Insight, told Bloomberg television that inventories stateside have climbed about 3 percent in the past 30 day, s "and we're thinking there will continue to be a build up in the actual inventory, driven in part by the shale operators".

OPEC and its de fecto leader Saudi Arabia agreed late a year ago, along with producer allies such as Russian Federation, to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to prevent a supply overhang from growing.

-Oil prices pushed toward fresh three-month highs Friday, helped by a slightly weaker USA dollar and global stock-market gains.

USA crude stocks rose 3.7 million barrels in the week to February 15, to 454.5 million barrels, the highest since October 2017, even as crude exports surged 1.2 million barrels per day to a record 3.6 million bpd.

"Should risky assets receive some additional optimistic news out of the ongoing U.S".

Sammy Wilson: Irish no-deal Brexit plans undermine backstop case
He added: "No one is building a so-called hard border or going back to checkpoints with soldiers". We can get that deal but it will require Dublin and Brussels to be reasonable and pragmatic.

Since taking effect in January, supply cuts agreed by OPEC have helped oil prices increase to above $60 dollars a barrel, after many market commentators feared the commodity would fall below the $40 back in November past year. America is the only country to ever reach production of 12 million bpd.

Prices continue to be supported by supply cuts led by the OPEC and its allies, including Russian Federation.

The U.S. will start consistently exporting more crude oil and petroleum products than it imports at the end of next year, EIA recently forecast.

-Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was trading up 0.7% at $67.52 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

Goldman Sachs said in a note that it expects Opec output to average 31.1-million bpd in 2019, down from 31.9-million bpd.

Official oil inventory and production data is due at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT).

US energy firms this week cut the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in three weeks.

That means USA crude output has soared by nearly 2.5 million bpd since the start of 2018, and by a whopping 5 million bpd since 2013. Goldman said it expected an average Brent price of $60-$65 per barrel in 2019 and 2020.

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