Venezuela is said to urge OPEC to unite against sanctions


China's May crude oil imports eased away from a record high hit the previous month, customs data showed on Friday, with state-run refineries entering planned maintenance.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery fell 0.3% to $65.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Long-term investment in the oil sector has been "choked off' in favor of short-cycle investment, and supplies from US shale producers will likely be constrained through late 2019".

A US call for more oil from OPEC and a negative trend line for the price of Brent crude oil helped lead oil prices toward a second day of declines on Tuesday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russian Federation will meet on June 22-23 to decide how much production they will increase as global inventories have tightened while Venezuela's production has dropped more than expected. For the week, USA crude was set to fall 0.2 percent, while Brent was set to fall 0.6 percent.

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Oil prices could jump to $140 a barrel due to the US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told Reuters on Friday.

"A consensus for higher oil prices and revenues will be the bedrock of every OPEC nation".

Oil prices rebounded on Tuesday on expectations that inventories in the United States may decline, but increasing US production and concerns that OPEC may raise output continue to weigh on sentiment.

Trump announced last month that the US would back out of a deal with Iran that sought to curb the country's nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.

Crude prices came under pressure after data suggested Chinese demand was waning and concerns lingered about growing USA output.

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Further weighing on prices has been rising US output, which hit another record last week at 10.8 million bpd.

Reuters reported on May 25 that the producers were considering a supply increase of 1 million barrels per day, with a final decision to be made at the June meeting in Vienna.

Outside OPEC, however, there were ongoing signs of rising output.

Venezuela has the world's biggest oil reserves and is a key supplier to American fuel markets but its output has been hampered by inadequate investment, mismanagement and a confrontation with the United States that has led to sanctions.

OPEC and its allies will gather at a June 22 summit that's likely to be contentious.

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Venezuela's supply trouble comes amid voluntary production cuts by OPEC which have been in place since 2017 in order to tighten the market and prop up prices.