Oil prices were largely steady on Wednesday as an intensifying crisis in Venezuela along with tightened US sanctions on Iran partly offset the impact of an unexpected rise in USA crude inventories.
Late Tuesday, the API reported a surprise build in crude oil inventory of 6.81 million barrels for the week ending April 26.
US crude inventories climbed last week 9.9 million barrels to 470.6 million barrels as imports grew to their highest since January and refining rates dropped below 90 percent of total capacity, the Energy Information Administration said. Analysts were looking for a draw in gasoline inventories of 1.005 million barrels for the week.
Markets also watched for developments in Venezuela, where opposition leader Juan Guaido called for a May 1 uprising against President Nicolas Maduro.
Last fiscal year, Iraq maintained its position as the largest crude oil supplier to India in 2018-19, supplying more than 46.61 MT of crude oil, or a 2% increase in the previous fiscal year, according to data from the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS).
The unrest adds to a range of fluid geopolitical factors which have roiled the oil market in recent months.
The bank said it expected crude markets to climb until the third quarter of 2019, adding that prices would then "start to become vulnerable to a sharp rise in US exports of light crude thanks to pipeline and terminal capacity expansion".
The United States demanded on April 22 that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers that had allowed Iran's eight biggest customers, majority in Asia, to import limited volumes.
The market has tightened this year due to supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as well as the sanctions on Caracas and Tehran.
FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind an oil pump outside Saint-Fiacre, near Paris, France March 28, 2019.
India's Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said last week that India will get additional supplies from other major oil-producing countries to compensate for the loss of Iranian crude.
And it is not only geographic proximity that matters but also a very favorable price - for instance, India will have a hell of a time finding a similarly cheap source of crude unless Saudi Arabia eases its pricing and production policy.
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