The US imports and exports substantial volumes of petroleum

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In its monthly report released on Thursday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cut the forecast for demand for its crude this year and predicted strong growth in non-OPEC supply.

Oil futures steadied on Tuesday on signs that OPEC plans to maintain production cuts despite pressure from U.S. President, whose comment criticizing rising crude prices sent the market into a tailspin a day earlier.

Brian Stutland, chief investment officer at Equity Armor Investments, said, "We're seeing some supplies tighten a little bit.and also the correlation between oil and the stock market and demand coming back into the picture has sort of driven it: oil lagged a little bit as the dollar strengthened, and I think it's trying to play catch-up".

In the report, OPEC said its oil output fell by 221,000 bpd month-on-month to 30.55 million bpd in February.

The US Energy Information Administration said late Tuesday that crude oil production in the United States is expected to grow more slowly than expected in 2019, averaging around 12.30 million bpd. Opec›s report said oil inventories in developed economies were above the five-year average in January. That amounts to 105 per cent compliance with pledged cuts, according to a Reuters calculation, up from January's rate. The price of futures contracts of WTI crude oil went up by 0.58% to $58.6 per barrel, TASS reported.

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For 2020, the government said it expected U.S. crude oil demand to rise by 220,000 bpd to 21.03 million bpd, unchanged from previous forecasts.

In the Middle East, the United States aims to cut Iran's crude exports by about 20 percent to below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from May by requiring importing countries to reduce purchases to avoid USA sanctions, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Sources said Novak would be there on Sunday, along with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih.

Worldwide benchmark Brent crude was trading at $67.83 per barrel at 0650 GMT with a 0.3 percent gain after closing Wednesday at $67.62 a barrel. "Gasoline inventories drew strongly, now down more than 12 million barrels-or 5%-in four weeks, while distillate inventories ticked higher as implied demand slipped last week". WTI hit a high of $58.48 a barrel on Wednesday, the highest since November 13.

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