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Oil prices rose to 2019 high on Thursday

Oil prices

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Oil prices rose to 2019 high on Thursday after continued tightening of world markets on the background of the OPEC supply constraints and the US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela

The futures on US crude oil WTI rose by 1.36% to 59.83 USD per barrel. Brent prices also rose by 0.10% to 68.57 USD per barrel.

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The crude oil prices have risen by almost a third since early 2019, largely due to supply constraints imposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. Crude oil production within OPEC has fallen since its peak from mid-2018 from 32.8 million barrels per day to 30.7 million barrels per day in February.

Venezuelan exports to the US have finally dried out after earlier this year, the US administration imposed sanctions on the country.

Iranian oil exports have also fallen. The US is seeking to cut crude oil exports from Iran by about 20% to less than 1 million barrels per day in May, demanding importing countries to reduce their purchases to avoid US sanctions.

The US crude oil stockpiles dropped last week by nearly 10 million barrels, which is the biggest decline since July. The decline comes amid a result of strong exports and demand from refineries. Currently, the inventories are at their lowest level since January – 439.5 million barrels.

The EIA report also showed that gasoline inventories fell by 4.59 million barrels, nearly twice the expected draw of 2.41 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles dropped by 4.13 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a decline of 1.09 million.