Oil Costs Rise Amid Venezuela Provide Woes; API Knowledge Forward

Investing.com – Oil futures rose to near a two-week high on Tuesday, as the ongoing political and economic crisis in OPEC-member Venezuela further restricts supply from what was once one of the world’s biggest exporters.

Venezuela’s opposition-run congress on Monday declared a “state of alarm” over a five-day power blackout that has crippled the country’s oil exports and left millions of citizens scrambling to find food and water.

Brent oil for May delivery on the ICE (NYSE:ICE) Futures Exchange in London tacked on 61 cents, or about 0.9%, to $67.19 a barrel by 8:50AM ET (12:50 GMT), after going as high as $67.39, the highest level since Feb. 25.

Elsewhere, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 48 cents, or around 0.85%, to $57.27 a barrel, the most since March 1.

Prices were also still supported by suggestions from Saudi Arabia that it will extend its own voluntary supply curbs in April. A Saudi official was reported as saying on Monday it will cut its crude oil exports in April to below 7 million barrels per day (bpd), trying to pre-empt a global supply glut.

“This shows Saudi Arabia’s resolve to keep the oil market balanced by keeping oil supply tight,” said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank (DE:CBKG).

Later Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report for the week ended March 8 at 4:30PM ET (21:30 GMT), amid expectations of a gain of about 2.8 million barrels in U.S. commercial crude inventories.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly report will be released on Wednesday.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures shed 0.2% to $1.822 a gallon, while heating oil ticked up 0.2% at $1.997 a gallon.

Natural gas futures dipped 0.7% to $2.753 per million British thermal units.

— Reuters contributed to this report