Oman Crude oil price breaches $70 mark

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Prices were supported as U.S. oil stockpiles fell across the board last week with gasoline and distillates drawing down more than expected on stronger demand, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The supply cut has helped boost oil prices this year to $73 a barrel, the highest since November 2014.

The EIA said that U.S. gasoline (or petrol) stocks fell by three million barrels during the week to April 13, much more than expected, amid strong demand from auto drivers.

An OPEC/non-OPEC ministerial monitoring panel is meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on April 20 to discuss the state of the oil market and possible long-lasting cooperation.

As crude production in the North Sea continues to evolve, its role in an increasingly globalized market has started to shift, having an impact on Dated Brent and its position as a global oil benchmark.

The total global supply controlled by OPEC, with Saudi Arabia as its de facto leader, has dropped to 40% in recent years, mainly due to the expansion of USA drilling.

OPEC is closing in on the original target of the pact reducing industrialized nations' Crude Oil inventories to their 5-year average.

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West Texas Intermediate for May delivery advanced $1.95 to settle at $68.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The deal, which runs through the end of this year, has almost shrunk global oil stockpiles to their five-year average.

OPEC and its allies, including Russian Federation, are scheduled to gather in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on April 20 to explore ways of prolonging their cooperation in their efforts to reduce a global glut. Analysts including investment bank JP Morgan had predicted that oil prices could rise as high as $80 per barrel this year. While demand has yet to catch up to elevated supplies, rebounding economies in Europe and steady economic growth in the USA could prompt more upside for oil this year.

Japan's Nikkei faded late in the day to end up 0.15 percent, but basic materials and utilities both climbed more than 2 percent.

Over the past four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged 9.4 million barrels per day, up by 0.7 percent from the same period previous year.

While geopolitical worries drive up prices, the market is also concerned about the potential negative impact on the economy, and oil demand and prices, from Trump's trade positions.

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