Oil prices rose by more than one percent on Friday as turmoil in Venezuela triggered concerns that its oil exports could soon be disrupted.
Washington on Thursday signalled it could impose sanctions on Venezuela’s crude exports as Caracas descends further into political and economic turmoil.
International Brent crude oil futures
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures
Amid violent street protests, Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president earlier this week, winning backing from Washington and large parts of Latin America, prompting Nicolas Maduro, the country’s leader since 2013, to break relations with the United States.
Fundamentally, however, global oil markets are still well supplied, thanks in part to surging output in the United States, where crude production rose by more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) last year to a record 11.9 million bpd.
Record U.S. production would likely offset any short-term disruptions to Venezuelan supply due to possible U.S. sanctions, Britain’s Barclays on Thursday said in a note. The bank cut its 2019 average Brent crude oil forecast to $70 a barrel, down from $72 previously.
The surge in U.S. output has resulted in swelling U.S. fuel inventories.