United States

Oil dips further from 2019 highs on demand worries

CNBC | Mar 22, 2019 at 7:18 PM
  • Brent crude futures settled at $67.30 per barrel, 83 cents, or 1.2 percent below their last close and down about 0.2 percent on the week.
  • U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures fell 94 cents, or 1.6 percent, to settle at $59.04 per barrel.
  • As economic growth has slowed across Asia, Europe and North America, potentially denting fuel consumption, no breakthrough has emerged in the trade stand-off between Washington and Beijing, at least before meetings scheduled on March 28-29.

Switzerland

U.S. cautions Venezuela’s Maduro over detained Citgo workers, others

Swissinfo | Mar 22, 2019 at 7:06 PM
  • The Trump administration on Friday warned the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro over the detention of Americans, including six executives from Houston-based oil company Citgo Petroleum who have been jailed since 2017.
  • The State Department statement came a day after U.S. Republican Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn called on Maduro to release the six Citgo executives.
  • The former top employees of Venezuelan PDVSA’s refining subsidiary were arrested in late 2017 and accused of embezzlement and money laundering linked to talks to refinance Citgo’s debt.

United States

U.S. imposes sanctions on Venezuela bank Bandes after Guaido aide’s arrest

CNBC | Mar 22, 2019 at 7:05 PM
  • The United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s development bank Bandes, a day after the Trump administration warned there would be consequences for the arrest of opposition leader Juan Guaido’s top aide.
  • Guaido, who invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency in January, has accused Bandes of being used by officials of Maduro’s government to steal funds.
  • Bandes has received billions of dollars over the past decade from the China Development Bank.

United States

U.S. ratchets up pressure on Venezuela with new sanctions

Politico (USA) | Mar 22, 2019 at 2:56 PM
  • The Treasury Department on Friday slapped additional sanctions on Venezuela, this time on the banking sector, the latest effort from the White House to intensify pressure on dictator Nicolás Maduro.
  • The sanctions target Venezuela’s state-owned and controlled bank Banco de Desarrollo Economico y Social de Venezuela, or BANDES, and four related financial institutions.
  • The White House also slapped sanctions on Maduro-supporting Venezuelan security forces and revoked the visas of top officials and the relatives of those tied to the autocrat’s regime.

United States

Venezuela, China in focus for Trump meeting with Caribbean leaders

Reuters | Mar 22, 2019 at 10:09 AM
  • U.S. President Donald Trump is set to meet with five Caribbean leaders on Friday who have sided with the United States and most Western countries in backing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as head of state.
  • The organization has officially advocated for talks between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Guaido.
  • At a January 2018 White House meeting about immigration, Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries,” according to a Democratic senator who was there.

Korea, Republic of

Venezuelan Opposition Leader Guaido Says His Top Aide Detained

Chosun Ilbo | Mar 22, 2019 at 8:14 AM
  • Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido says intelligence agents have detained his chief of staff.
  • Guaido’s aide, Roberto Marrero, reportedly was taken into custody in an overnight raid on his home.
  • Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Guaido both claim to be the legitimate president of the South American country.

United States

Oil lingers slightly under 2019 highs on OPEC’s supply cuts, U.S. sanctions

CNBC | Mar 22, 2019 at 7:50 AM
  • Oil hovered slightly below 2019 peaks on Friday, propped up by ongoing supply cuts led by producer club OPEC and by U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.
  • Beyond voluntary supply cuts, oil prices have been boosted by U.S. sanctions against OPEC-members Iran and Venezuela.
  • Iranian crude oil shipments have averaged just over 1 million bpd in March, down from 1.3 million bpd in February and a 2018 peak of at least 2.5 million bpd in April.

United Kingdom

Dubai crude complex remains firmly in backwardation on sanctions concerns

S&P Global Platts | Mar 22, 2019 at 6:32 AM
  • Asian sour crude benchmark Dubai spreads remained firmly in backwardation Friday amid concerns over Iranian and Venezuelan supply, while May cash Dubai continued to command a premium over light sour crude grades.
  • The Middle East sour crude market has seen extensive buying activity this week.
  • It is the third consecutive month that CPC Taiwan has purchased multiple Upper Zakum cargoes via its monthly buy tender.

United States

Oil hovers below 2019 highs amid OPEC supply cuts, U.S. sanctions

Reuters | Mar 22, 2019 at 6:24 AM
  • Oil hovered slightly below 2019 peaks on Friday, propped up by ongoing supply cuts led by producer club OPEC and by U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.
  • Brent crude oil futures were at $67.90 per barrel at 0617 GMT, 4 cents above their last close.
  • Iranian crude oil shipments have averaged just over 1 million bpd in March, down from 1.3 million bpd in February and a 2018 peak of at least 2.5 million bpd in April.