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EIA said on Wednesday. During the week to April 19, commercial inventories of crude oil in the U.S. jumped by 5.5 mil bbls, which was much more than expectations for an increase of 1.3 mil bbls. At 460 mil bbls, U.S. crude stockpiles are at their highest level since October 2017. Crude inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, hub rose by 463,000 bbls, the EIA reported.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Wednesday that he sees no urgency to raise oil production immediately, but added that the kingdom would respond to customers' needs if they ask for more oil. "Inventories are actually continuing to rise despite what is happening in Venezuela and despite the tightening of sanctions on Iran.

The U.S. must be prepared for consequences if it tries to stop Iran from selling its oil and using the Strait of Hormuz, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Wednesday. "We believe that Iran will continue to sell its oil. We will continue to find buyers for our oil and we will continue to use the Strait of Hormuz as a safe transit passage for the sale of our oil," Zarif told an event in New York.

In OPEC producer Venezuela, state-run oil company PDVSA said on Wednesday that it had activated a power generator that will allow for an increase in crude oil production. PDVSA’s statement said that the generator would add 10 megawatts of power to the electrical system in the Morichal district of the heavy-crude oil Orinoco belt. This would in turn allow an increase in the output of Merey crude, Venezuela's most common export grade.