The International Energy Agency said in September that the global oil supply reached 100 million barrels a day for the first time ever in August, boosted by rising production in the USA and several OPEC nations.
The API reported late Wednesday afternoon that US crude oil inventories rose by 6.6 million barrels for the week-ended January 18.
Futures in NY rose slightly on Thursday as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro defied calls from the US and other nations to cede control of the Latin American country that holds the world's biggest crude reserves.
"The scarcity of heavy oil in the Gulf Coast will increase the price, plus the fact that you have to import from a place like Iraq, makes it a little costlier", Monaldi said.
Demand may start to stutter because of a global economic slowdown, which is likely to dent fuel consumption. Even before the most recent political upheaval, the USA imported a record 4.06 million barrels of Canadian crude per day last week, while imports from Venezuela slipped 13 per cent to 523,000 bpd.
If the United States decides to deploy a slate of sanctions that it is said to have drafted against the Latin American nation, American refiners - the No. 1 consumer of Venezuelan crude exports - would be forced to cease purchases.
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Venezuela's oil output had already plunged to a 30-year low due to the rapid decay of its energy industry.
Since the USA imposed financial sanctions against Venezuela and PDVSA in 2017, Royal Dutch shell Plc and Philips 66 haven't processed Venezuelan crude.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $53.34 per barrel, up 21 cents, or 0.4 percent. A report from the American Petroleum Institute on Thursday said that the USA has surplus gasoline stockpiles that "could approach burdensome levels" and force gas prices down further.
"Forcing Venezuela into the spot market to dump prompt crude puts them in a corner".
Steered by Saudi Arabia, OPEC and its allies are cutting production to contain a global oil surplus and bolster crude prices. The primary importers of Venezuelan crude are Citgo, Valero Energy, and Chevron.
Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 20.3 million barrels per day, down by 1.1 percent from the same period previous year.
"While the current state of affairs is price constructive for oil, the market is hesitant when it comes to the global outlook", Harry Tchilinguirian, global head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas, told the Reuters Global Oil Forum. Trump and high-ranking USA officials had been expected to meet the Chinese delegation to the forum ahead of the 90-day trade truce ending March 1. While a cutoff of Venezuelan imports would raise prices for refiners in the Gulf Coast, the market is competitive enough that producers are unlikely to pass along much of the cost to consumers, experts said. WTI closed up 1.7 percent on Wednesday, when prices touched their highest since November 21 at $54.93 a barrel.