By Alex Longley
Summary of what’s shaping the oil market on Monday: Crude was steady near a two-month high on Monday, buoyed by the unfolding turmoil in Venezuela and reduced levels of OPEC output. Russian oil output fell in January.
* Officials from the U.S. Treasury have informed some companies that previously contracted cargoes won’t be exempt from a new rule blocking payments to Venezuela’s PDVSA, according to two people familiar with the matter
** France became the latest nation to recognise Juan Guaido as the Venezuela’s interim president on Monday
* Russian oil production fell to 11.4m b/d in January, and was down 42k b/d from its October level, the baseline used to measure its promised cutback
* Baker Hughes reported a reduction in the U.S. oil rig count on Friday, reversing the previous week’s increase
* The macro picture was relatively stable with equities trading little changed at the start of the week
* More Bloomberg tanker trackers are emerging, with Venezuelan exports at a 10-month low, while Libyan shipments were their lowest in 6 months.
** Iranian flows were higher last month though as South Korea and Japan made the most of waivers from U.S. sanctions
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