WTI: Downside opening up towards $ 69.50 amid OPEC output boost talks

Yet, while OPEC is mulling an increase the reality is it will be needed to replace the loss of Venezuelan crude oil and the loss of Iranian crude due to USA sanctions.

July futures for Brent oil at the London ICE Futures exchange to 8:08 Moscow time has fallen in price on $0,14 (0,18%) to $78,65 per barrel.

US refiner Valero Energy Corp this year boosted its imports of Venezuelan crude ahead of USA sanctions over the country's disputed presidential election and as other customers received less of the OPEC-member's exports, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data.

Concern about a potential drop in Iranian oil exports following Washington's exit from a nuclear arms control deal with Tehran have driven prices to multi-year highs.

The two oil-rich countries are the key movers behind a pact between OPEC and other producers that has limited production since 2017, but which experts fear may soon lead to a spike in prices.

Venezuela's large export decline and worldwide condemnation of President Nicolas Maduro's re-election this week, which has started triggering new sanctions, is creating tension in the global oil market.

Crude oil prices are trading around multiyear highs.

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Meanwhile, oil companies in the United States are taking their time in ramping up production in an effort to avoid debt. Traders are still awaiting clarity over President Trump's decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran, while the USA also took new measures against Venezuela this week.

Benchmark Brent LCOc1 futures were down 59 cents at $79.21 a barrel by 0922 GMT, while US crude futures CLc1 eased 41 cents to $71.43 a barrel.

The ministers, along with their counterpart from the United Arab Emirates, discussed an output increase of about 1 million barrels per day (bpd), sources told Reuters.

Oil prices edged lower on Wednesday as the market took a breather on expectations OPEC may raise supplies as early as June, although geopolitical risks kept a floor under the market.

Gasoline futures were down 1.8% at $2.230 US per gallon following the data release.

Further downside pressure on WTI came after the U.S. government expressed concerns over the high prices of crude and OPEC and Russian Federation said they could announce an increment of their production at the next meeting of the carte next month.

The blend of oil from Alberta's oilsands is known as Western Canada Select and it, too, has risen to a more than three-year high, nearly touching $58 US on Tuesday.

  • Darren Santiago