WTI Crude Oil and Natural Gas Forecast

Brent oil price exceeds $68 first since November

Brent oil price exceeds $68 first since November

Since then, crude oil imports have increased slightly, averaging 7.7 million bpd in 2018.

The OPEC Reference Basket (ORB), a weighted average of prices for petroleum blends produced by the cartel's members, rose in February for the second consecutive month, increasing by about 9 percent, or 5.09 USA dollars, month-on-month to average 63.83 US dollars per barrel, said the report.

The US Energy Information Administration said late Tuesday that crude oil production in the United States is expected to grow more slowly than expected in 2019, averaging around 12.30 million bpd.

EIA expects these trends to continue over the next several years.

Oil prices have risen since the beginning of this year thanks to supply cuts led by OPEC. Opec sources have said an extension of the pact is the likely scenario. The group and its allies are due to meet in April and June to discuss policy.

Despite this strong compliance, market indicators followed by OPEC still suggest a glut could appear.

"With OPEC's cuts in full swing ... persistent supply issues and a deteriorating picture on Venezuela, oil is looking well supported", said Jasper Lawler, Head of Research at futures brokerage London Capital Group. Crude oil imports to the U.S. fell last week by 523,000 bpd to 6.4 million bpd. A recent EIA forecast also showed that the United States would become a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products on a monthly basis in 2019 and on an annual basis in 2020. It kept its forecast for growth in global oil demand this year unchanged at 1.24 million bpd.

Brent crude futures settled at $67.55 a barrel, up 88 cents, or 1.32 percent. Brent touched $67.39 a barrel on Monday, its highest since February 25.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-affiliated allies such as Russian Federation - known as the OPEC+ alliance - pledged to withhold 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in crude supply from the start of the year to tighten markets and prop up prices.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.62 per barrel, up 36 cents, or 0.62 percent, from their last settlement.

Sources said Novak would be there on Sunday, along with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih. OPEC's report said oil inventories in developed economies were above the five-year average in January.

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