Crude Oil Price Lower But Remains Range Bound

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The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that US crude inventories rose by 2.5 million barrels last week at a time of weakening global demand, Morning Star reported.

The European Union is considering imposing more sanctions on the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro but has not discussed an oil embargo, Malta's foreign minister said on Monday.

The recent downswings in the crude oil market have been highly correlated with the release of the bearish economic data.

In fact, the USA sanctions were already curtailing Venezuelan crude oil exports, pushing the country's beleaguered oil industry closer to collapse, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday .

On the positive side and somewhat limiting occasional dips, crude oil prices remain supported by the ongoing OPEC+ deal to curb production, supply disruptions from Venezuela and Libya and the continuation of USA sanctions against Iranian exports. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 33 cents at $53.33.

Meanwhile, oil supply from the OPEC fell in January by the largest amount in two years, a Reuters survey found.

When asked about how European and Asian customers could be convinced to buy oil from Venezuela, risking sanctions from Washington, he stated that now, Washington's sanctions apply only to U.S. entities.

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Guaidó also plans to drop the requirement that PDVSA hold a majority stake in all joint projects, as the leader looks to boost oil production as soon as possible, Guaidó's envoy to the U.S., Carlos Vecchio, said earlier this week.

Still, some observers have pointed out that the weakened state of its oil industry may have only a limited effect on the wider global crude market.

The producers' alliance, known as OPEC+, began cutting production from last month to avert a new supply glut.

Venezuela, like fellow OPEC members Iran and Libya, was exempt from production curbs under the deal on expectations that its output faced involuntary downward pressure in 2019.

Concern about weaker global economic growth and the trade dispute between the United States and China have also weighed on sentiment. -China trade dispute. Oil prices fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion almost stalled in January. Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are poised to start another round of talks next week.

The statements come after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro criticized USA sanctions on Venezuelan state energy giant PDVSA on 5 February and said that the restrictions were tantamount to illegal seizure.

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