RIYADH: Oil prices fell on Wednesday as an unexpected build in crude and fuel inventories in the US, the world’s biggest oil consumer, and economic uncertainty reignited demand worries.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures decreased by 68 cents, or 0.91 percent, to $74.44 a barrel at 09.15 a.m. Saudi time, while Brent crude futures fell by 66 cents, or 0.82 percent, at $79.44 a barrel.
Both contracts rose during trading on Monday and Tuesday, rebounding from a sharp selloff in the first week of 2023.
Russia’s oil output stable
Russia’s oil production rose 0.1 percent in the period from Jan. 1 to Jan. 9, to stand at about 10.9 million barrels a day, compared to December 2022, the daily Vedomosti said on Wednesday, citing two sources familiar with energy ministry data.
In 2022, Russian oil output rose 2 percent to 535 million tons, which equals 10.7 million bpd.
Chevron’s first cargo of Venezuelan oil after license departs for the US
Chevron Corp’s first cargo of Venezuelan crude under a US license received in November has departed from a ship-to-ship transfer hub near Aruba to its Pascagoula, Mississippi refinery, according to shipping data seen by Reuters on Tuesday.
Chevron received authorization last year from the US Treasury Department to revive oil output and expand operations in Venezuela as part of Washington’s efforts to encourage political dialogue toward a presidential election in the South American nation.
State-run oil company PDVSA allocated Chevron the first crude cargo this month, which was loaded at Venezuela’s Jose terminal last week, according to shipping data and documents.
Chevron’s tanker Caribbean Voyager this week transferred the 500,000-barrel cargo of Hamaca heavy crude it had loaded in Venezuela to Malta-flagged vessel Sealeo at a ship-to-ship hub near the Caribbean island of Aruba, Refinitiv Eikon tanker monitoring data showed.
The Sealeo is scheduled to arrive in Chevron’s Pascagoula refinery on Jan. 15, according to the Eikon data.
(With input from Reuters)