Crude oil news

U.S. Crude Prices Are Up 25% So Far This Year

U.S. crude-oil futures have rebounded 25% in the first two months of the year, according to Dow Jones Market Data, the best January-February performance in figures going back to 1984. Oil is also heading for its best two-month stretch generally since 2016—when prices recovered in April and May of that year after dipping below $27 a barrel.

Venezuela Seeks OPEC Support Against U.S. Sanctions Imposed On His Country’s Oil Industry

The request was made in a letter sent to OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo. “Our country hopes to receive the solidarity and full support of the member countries of OPEC and its ministerial Conference, in the fight we are currently having against the illegal and arbitrary intrusion of the United States in the internal affairs of Venezuela,” Maduro wrote.

Venezuela Shifts Oil Ventures’ Accounts To Russian Bank, PDVSA’s Move Comes After The United States Imposed New Financial Sanctions

State-run PDVSA several weeks ago informed customers of the new banking instructions and has begun moving the accounts of its joint ventures, which can export crude separately. The decision was made amid tension with some of its partners, which have withdrawn staff from Caracas since U.S. sanctions were imposed in January.

Venezuela Oil Sanctions Likely to Hit Some U.S. Refiners. Profit margins for turning heavy crude into gasoline and diesel have slumped to the lowest level in more than a year

The Trump administration has drafted a slate of sanctions but hasn’t decided whether to deploy them, said people familiar with the matter. Earlier this month, White House officials warned U.S. refiners that sanctions were being considered, and advised them to seek alternative sources of heavy crude. Some U.S. refiners worried about sanctions experimented with alternatives last year before ultimately returning to Venezuelan crude.

Oil headed for its biggest weekly gain in over two years. Still, prices are about 30 percent lower than their highs in October

Crude’s direction in coming weeks may be determined by whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia implement output cuts they have promised for the first six months of 2019. Also crucial will be the outcome of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China — the world’s two biggest economies. A deal between the nations could boost flagging global growth that underpins oil demand.