OPEC urges producers to maintain stability of market in 2019

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The cost of Brent crude oil last exceeded $68 per barrel on November 16, 2018. The Saudis drove a 1 million barrel a day production increase over the summer. Meanwhile, a possible delay in the UK's divorce from the European Union eased concerns about the impact on global growth.

According to a monthly OPEC report, oil pumping was reduced by 857,000 barrels per day in February compared to October.

A falling USA dollar could help the situation as well, and as the Saudi cuts continue to grip the market, I think overall we have a constructive outlook for crude oil as not only do all those things coming together, but we also have Chinese stimulus that will push demand on the mainland as well. Still, the draw in stockpiles at a time when refinery maintenance usually undercuts demand signals the glut is easing.

It said a comfortable supply cushion by OPEC could prevent any price rally in case of possible disruptions and that non-OPEC oil output growth led by the United States should ensure demand is met. "At this point, as the United Kingdom heads into delaying Brexit, this could keep oil in positive territory as fewer uncertainties will keep investors calm".

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Global benchmark Brent crude was trading at $67.38 per barrel at 0638 GMT with a 0.3 percent gain after closing Thursday at $67.19 a barrel. WTI hit a high of $58.48 a barrel on Wednesday, the highest since November 13.

For its part, the Brent, a reference in Europe, fell back 25 cents and moved to 66.98 units a barrel. The contract climbed 88 cents to US$67.55 on Wednesday.

The more-active second-month WTI benchmark gained 77 cents to $60.06 a barrel. OPEC is estimating average daily Russian production in 2019 will reach a new record of 11.49 million barrels a day. USA crude oil demand in 2019 is expected to rise by 360,000 barrels to 20.81 million barrels per day, a former Energy Information Administration (EIA) for an increase of 350,000 barrels per day. The Energy Information Administration expects production to increase by 2020 by 730,000 barrels per day to 13.03 million barrels per day, an increase that is less than the expected 790,000 barrels per day.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak will not attend a monitoring panel of Opec and non-Opec oil-producing countries scheduled for Monday in Baku, two sources familiar with his plans told Reuters. Russian Federation is about halfway toward meeting its target for oil-output cuts under the OPEC+ deal, with only a couple of weeks remaining to fulfil its pledge.