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Late on Tuesday, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. crude inventories fell last week by 2.0 mil bbls, with crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma fell by 1.0 mil bbls.

A news report said the United States government had unofficially asked Saudi Arabia and some other OPEC producers to raise oil output by about 1 mil bpd. The request came after U.S. retail gasoline prices rallied to their highest in more than three years and President Donald Trump publicly complained about OPEC policy and rising oil prices. It also came after Trump decided to reimpose sanctions on Iran’s crude exports that had previously displaced about 1 mil bpd from global markets. The White House declined to comment on specific conversations, but a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council said access to affordable and reliable energy underpins global economic growth and the nation’s security.

OPEC member Venezuela has raised the prospect of declaring force majeure on contracts with major crude buyers amid plummeting output from its oil fields and tanker bottlenecks at ports, according to three sources familiar with the matter. Venezuela's exports of crude declined 28 percent in the first four months of 2018 to 1.19 million bpd compared with 1.65 million bpd in the same period last year, according to Reuters trade flows data.  In January-April, crude output fell to 1.62 million bpd, the lowest annual average in over three decades.




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