Adding to this is the political crisis in Venezuela where President Nicolas Maduro’s future remains the focus. Even the Russians have come to the conclusion that Maduro’s support is draining away following years of economic mismanagement. While US sanctions against PDVESA, the state owned oil company and life blood of Maduro’s regime, may speed up the process towards change, the short-term impact is being felt through reduced sales, especially to US refineries which are bared from sending the proceeds back to Caracas.
Despite these oil-supportive developments the market remains stuck with the focus now turning to the ‘Weekly Petroleum Status Report’ from the US Energy Information Administration. Surveys ahead of today’s report at 15:30 GMT are in line the American Petroleum Institute with regard to crude oil and gasoline, both of which are expected to show an increase. Distillate stocks, meanwhile, are expected to show a drop in line with the seasonal behaviour.