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Kuwait sees risk of oil supply shortage in 2019 due to Venezuela

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Vladimir Putin and Nicolas Maduro

Bullish traders are banking on the Venezuelan oil sanctions and the OPEC-led production cuts to provide support.

A maze of crude oil pipes and valves is pictured during a tour by the Department of Energy at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Freeport, Texas, U.S. June 9, 2016.

The potential gusher comes as Venezuela's production plunges amid an economic crisis and USA sanctions targeting the country's oil sector.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported an increase of 2.514 million barrels in the USA crude oil inventories for the week ending February 1.

Guaido's team is planning for a post-Maduro government with an emergency scheme to supply fuel domestically, given widespread shortages across Venezuela, Goicoechea said.

At 20:00 GMT, March WTI crude oil futures are trading $53.69, down $0.87 or -1.61% and April Brent crude oil futures are at $62.00, down $0.51 or -0.83%.

The sanctions will sharply limit oil transactions between Venezuela and other countries and are similar to those imposed on Iran past year, experts said after examining details posted by the Treasury Department.

Prices have been buoyed by a new round of supply cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies that began in January.

"The collapse in oil prices late previous year has resulted in more cautious spending by USA oil explorers", said Dhar.

OPEC and 10 partner producers outside the cartel agreed late a year ago to hold back crude output by 1.2 million barrels a day for the first half of 2019, in an effort to soak up a global supply glut and rebalance the market.

Hashem said OPEC+ actions should help re-balance the oil markets this year but he also warned of the impact of underinvestment in the oil industry which could cause a supply crunch by 2025.

Venezuela, like fellow OPEC members Iran and Libya, was exempt from production curbs under the OPEC+ deal on expectations that its output faced involuntary downward pressure in 2019. Oil fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion almost stalled in January.

US President Donald Trump last week said he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, perhaps twice, in the coming weeks to try to seal a comprehensive trade deal with Beijing, but acknowledged it was not yet clear whether a deal could be reached.

Market participants are also watching for developments surrounding the U.S.

Last week, China said its manufacturing activity contracted for the second-straight month in January, another sign that the world's second-largest economy is slowing down amid domestic headwinds and the on-going trade dispute with the U.S.

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