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Oil Markets In Limbo Ahead Of OPEC Meeting

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US West Texas Intermediate and International Benchmark Brent crude oil futures are in a position to settle the week higher after hitting new highs for the year earlier in the week. However, Friday's price action suggests investors are still waiting for a bullish catalyst to trigger another. 1

9659004] Supply Issues Supportive

The OPEC led production cuts which started on January 1 and the US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela have been carrying crude oil prices higher for months, but gains have been limited by groups over rising US inventories and production However, these were reported on Wednesday at least temporarily, with the release of a bullish EIA report.

Wednesday's weekly EIA report for the week ending March 8 showed US commercial crude oil inventories ll as refineries hiked output

Crude inventories dropped by 3.9 million barrels in the last week, to 449.07 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations for an increase of 2.7 million barrels. U.S. crude oil production also dipped, falling by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 12 million bpd.

Additionally, in Venezuela, oil production and exports continued to be disrupted by a political and economic crisis that has caused massive blackouts and supply shortages . According to reports, two storage tanks exploded at a heavy-duty upgrading project in eastern Venezuela on…

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