Amid signs that U.S. oil production growth is stalling and that OPEC is tightening the market and may not move in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's latest Twitter address to the cartel "to increase the flow of oil", oil prices rose on Monday to their highest levels in almost five months.
Oil climbed to a four-month high in NY as a further retreat in OPEC's production signaled that global markets are tightening.
On Thursday, Trump again called for OPEC to pump more oil to lower prices.
Crude futures for May delivery rose 1.5 percent to 473.3 yuan a barrel on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange.
Worldwide standard Brent crude reached up to $69.95 per barrel at around 9.20am, its highest point since November, before slowly giving back gains.
OPEC crude production fell for a fourth month in March as Saudi Arabia forged ahead with cutbacks and as power blackouts in Venezuela further squeezed supplies, a Bloomberg survey showed on Monday.
Venezuela's state-run energy company, PDVSA, kept oil exports near 1 million barrels per day in March despite USA sanctions and power outages that crippled its main export terminal, according to PDVSA documents and Refinitiv Eikon data, Reuters reported later in the day. The global benchmark crude's premium over WTI for the same month narrowed to US$7.17 a barrel.
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Further declines in supply from Iran and Venezuela might magnify the effects of oil production cuts agreed by OPEC-members and allied producers in late 2018.
For the previous week, API reported an increase of 1.93 million barrels of crude oil inventories.
"That, I think, is where we're headed", the official said.
In a note to investors, Commerzbank said that the EIA could revise down U.S. output, with the agency recording 100,000 barrels a day (bpd) decrease in production in January to 11.9 million bpd.
"Crude imports rose and crude exports fell, which translates into considerably higher net imports".
The official also suggested that the United States may not extend waivers from sanctions on Iranian oil exports to a group of eight importers that expire next month. A day later, the EIA confirmed the build, estimating that crude inventories had grown by 2.8 million barrels.
"Chinese manufacturing output is quite reflective of global demand, and any increase indicates a flurry of economic activity across major economies".