NEW YORK, May 18 (NNN-ABN) – Oil prices fell yesterday, as the United States moved to ease some sanctions against Venezuela.
The West Texas Intermediate for June delivery lost 1.8 U.S. dollars, or 1.6 percent, to settle at 112.40 dollars a barrel, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for July delivery decreased 2.31 dollars, or two percent, to close at 111.93 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
The United States will ease some sanctions against Venezuela, as a means to encourage negotiations between the U.S.-backed opposition and the Venezuelan government, led by President Nicolas Maduro, senior administration officials announced, yesterday.
Part of the sanctions relief involved the issuance by the U.S. Treasury, of a “narrow license,” authorising Chevron Corp., the last major U.S. oil company operating in Venezuela, to negotiate “potential future activities” in the Latin country, the officials told reporters during a briefing.
The news came at a time when market participants were worried about tight supplies, as the European Union worked on gaining support for an oil embargo against Russia.
Traders were also awaiting data on U.S. crude stockpiles, as the U.S. Energy Information Administration is set to release its weekly petroleum status report today. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Commodity Insights, expect the EIA publications to show a 2.1 million barrel rise in oil inventories.– NNN-ABN