U.S. oil imports down, exports up last week

Oil prices gain after bigger-than-expected fall in US stockpiles

"Strong growth in non-OPEC supply in 2019-2020 highlights need for producers to support market stability to avoid potential oversupply".

Against this uncertain backdrop, the IEA left its oil demand growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020, lowered in its previous monthly report, unchanged at 1.1 million barrels per day and 1.3 mbd.

The weaker outlook amid a US-China trade war and Brexit could press the case for OPEC and its allies to maintain or adjust their policy of cutting output.

OPEC, Russia and other producers have since January 1 implemented a deal to cut output by 1.2 million bpd.

Saudi Arabia's new energy minister said on Thursday that the kingdom would continue to over comply voluntarily with oil output cuts agreed by the OPEC+ producer alliance.

Zimbabweans in SA fear fresh attacks
At least eight of those killed have been confirmed to be South Africans and four others are believed to be foreign nationals. Logistics for the evacuation will be provided by Air Peace , a Nigerian airline which has offered to airlift Nigerians .

Oil prices LCOc1 pared an earlier gain after the report was released to sit just below $63 a barrel. OPEC raised its non-OPEC supply estimate for 2019 by 10,000 barrels a day to 1.99 million barrels, based on increased production in Russia, Kazakhstan, Australia and Canada more than offsetting a downward revision of 65,000 barrels a day in USA supply growth, from 1.87 million barrels a day to 1.80 million barrels.

Woods Mackenzie said last month that the US port of Corpus Christi, Texas could emerge as the country's top crude export hub over the next decade, linking three new pipelines from the Permian, the country's most prolific shale oil basin. Additionally, U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela have reduced further bets on worldwide supplies. While that should have boosted prices, the market fell instead on worries that OPEC, which accounts for about 40% of world oil supply, could again be faced with a global glut like a few years ago. It was the first increase this year. Russia, Iraq and Nigeria pumped 600,000 bpd more than their allocations.

Oil prices fell on Thursday to extend losses from the previous session following a downward revision in OPEC's oil demand forecast and amid speculation that the USA may ease sanctions on Iran. Both remain well short of three-month highs, however.

Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco has picked a slew of banks to work on its planned initial public offering following intense lobbying by some of the world's top dealmakers, people with knowledge of the matter said.

It is choosing as many as nine joint global coordinators including some Middle Eastern banks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

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