Soldiers oversaw rationing of gasoline at service stations in several parts of Venezuela on Sunday as worsening fuel shortages forced angry drivers to wait for hours to fill their tanks, prompting protests in some areas.
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Saturday that OPEC will be responsive to the oil market's needs, but that he was not sure there is an oil shortage with data, particularly from the United States, still showing inventories building.
Drivers queued for hours in towns across Venezuela on Friday as fuel shortages worsened in the country following a plunge in gasoline imports and a stoppage at the nation's second-largest oil refinery.
Venezuela ordered American diplomats to leave the country within 72 hours on Tuesday after President Nicolas Maduro accused US counterpart Donald Trump of cyber sabotage that plunged the OPEC nation into its worst blackout on record.
While everyone is talking about how surging U.S. crude oil production will offset a large part of the ongoing OPEC/non-OPEC production cuts, there are other oil producers not taking part in the OPEC+ deal and poised to see their output jump this year.
Oil prices crashed to new one-year lows on Tuesday, dragged down by a deepening sense of global economic gloom as well as fears of oversupply in the oil market itself.
A group of creditors has demanded payment on a US$ 1.5 billion Venezuelan bond that is in default, their lawyer said on Monday, kicking off a long-awaited showdown between creditors and the crisis-wracked OPEC nation. President Nicolas Maduro’s government and state-owned companies owe nearly US$ 8 billion in unpaid interest and principal following this year’s default on bonds amid a hyperinflationary collapse of the country’s once-wealthy socialist economy.
Qatar said it will quit OPEC to focus on gas in a swipe at Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of the oil exporting group which is trying to show unity in tackling an oil price slide. Doha, one of OPEC’s smallest oil producers but the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, is embroiled in a row with OPEC members Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Oil prices slumped up to nearly 8% to the lowest in more than a year on Friday, posting the seventh consecutive weekly loss, amid intensifying fears of a supply glut even as major producers consider cutting output. Oil supply, led by U.S. producers, is growing faster than demand and to prevent a build-up of unused fuel such as the one that emerged in 2015, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to start trimming output after a meeting on Dec. 6.
Venezuela which is sitting on one of the world’s largest crude oil reserves but which is suffering the worst loss of oil production in history outside of war-induced outages is getting ready to share macroeconomic data with the International Monetary Fund to avoid penalties including possible exclusion from the IMF.