Oil nudges higher on Venezuela and Iran sanctions

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Oil edged up on Thursday amid on­going OPEC-led supply cuts and US sanctions against exporters Venezuela and Iran, but price gains were capped by record US crude output and rising commercial fuel inventories. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $56.31 per barrel at 0637 GMT, up 9 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last settlement. Brent crude futures were at $66.22 per barrel, up 23 cents, or 0.4 percent.

Prices are being supported by efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other countries — a grouping known as ‘OPEC+’ to withhold around 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil, a strategy aimed at tightening markets. In our view, OPEC’s strategy is to rebalance the mar­ket as quickly as possible and exit the cuts by the end of June in order to grow production alongside shale producers in the second half of this year, US invest­ment bank Goldman Sachs said in a note on Wednesday. US sanctions against the oil industries of OPEC members Iran and Venezuela have also had an impact, traders said. Venezuela’s state-run oil firm PDVSA this week declared a maritime emergency— Agencies

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