Brent nears $70 as oil prices rise for fourth day

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In the week ended March 22, stockpiles increased by 2.8 million barrels. Under the deal, the alliance, known as OPEC+, was required to cut 1.2 million barrels per day off the market for the first six months of 2019.

Including this week's data, the net build is now 3.43 million barrels for the twelve reporting periods so far this year, using API data. Those sanctions have already halved Iranian oil exports.

As a result, banks are becoming more bullish as well.

In a signal that supply may tighten more, a USA official said on Tuesday that three of eight countries granted waivers by Washington to import oil from Iran had cut such purchases to zero, adding that improved oil market conditions would help reduce Iranian crude exports further.

In a note to investors, Commerzbank said that the EIA could revise down USA output, with the agency recording 100,000 barrels a day (bpd) decrease in production in January to 11.9 million bpd.

The rig count in the U.S.

"In November, we granted eight oil waivers to avoid a spike in the price of oil".

Oil prices rose for a fourth day on Wednesday, holding firm despite an industry report showing that USA inventories rose unexpectedly last week, with supply cuts and sanctions supporting the market.

In the Gulf Coast, which is home to more than half of all USA refinery capacity, refinery inputs averaged over 9.2 million barrels per day in 2018, or 8 percent higher than the previous five-year average for that region and the first time the annual average surpassed 9.0 million barrels per day.

Oil prices ended a three-day winning streak today despite edging close to the $70 per mark in the morning.

Oil has rallied around 36 per cent this year due to the effectiveness of the Saudi Arabian-led production cuts, together with receding fears over the global growth outlook.

Saudi Arabia is now signaling that it is and will be doing whatever it takes to rebalance the market and OPEC's production continues to drop as the Kingdom is over-delivering with its share of the cuts.

In December, OPEC member states and allied oil-producing nations, including Russian Federation, had agreed to curtail daily output of crude to help stop oil prices from sliding further downhill.

Figures showing a rebound in USA factory activity in March and a return to growth in Chinese manufacturing eased concern that an economic slowdown could weaken oil demand.

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