"Demand in China, India and the U.S.is estimated to have grown by 1 million b/d in Jan-Feb 2019".
Worldwide benchmark Brent futures were at 71.44 US dollars per barrel at 0424 GMT, down 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close.
United States (U.S.) West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures fell $1.11, or 1.7 per cent, to $63.50 per barrel. However, U.S. gasoline stocks fell by a whopping 7.7 million barrels, sending U.S. gasoline futures higher by 3.5 per cent on their close on Wednesday.
Some analysts also wondered if the Libyan conflict was being overplayed.
With this decline in production, which according to official records is due to a natural decline from the depletion of some wells and the lack of investment in the prospecting, surveying and exploration segments in the last ten years, Nigeria has moved ahead and consolidated its position as the main producer in Africa. OPEC has been saying the curbs must remain, but that stance is now softening.
OPEC and its allies will meet in June to decide whether to continue withholding supply, and while OPEC's de-facto leader, Saudi Arabia, is seen to be keen to continue cutting, sources with the group said it may raise output from July if disruptions elsewhere continue.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks this week that Moscow was against "uncontrollable oil price increases" was also a red flag to Jakob.
The WTI Crude Oil market tried to rally during the day on Friday but gave back about half of the gains by the time we got into NY afternoon trading. Russia's breakeven price for oil is around $42 per barrel, while the Saudis need the market to be at around $84 to fund their national budget.
"An increase is on the table, yes, if prices went to $80 and higher", this OPEC source said. The IEA also said that USA sanctions and power outages pushed OPEC...
Selling accelerated yesterday morning as US crude dropped below $63.71 a barrel, a technically-significant level at which some funds had stops in place, triggering automatic sales, said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in NY.
"We think that the Russian comments of this week are a sign that we are starting to approach this zone of divergence of interest (with Saudi Arabia), which will make it hard to maintain the OPEC+ agreement above current prices".
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