An employee stands in front of oil barrels at Royal Dutch Shell’s lubricants-blending plant in the town of Torzhok, Russia. Picture: REUTERS
An employee stands in front of oil barrels at Royal Dutch Shell’s lubricants-blending plant in the town of Torzhok, Russia. Picture: REUTERS

Sydney — Oil prices nudged higher on Thursday to sit just off a four-month high reached in the previous session as investors focused on global production cuts and supply disruptions in Venezuela.

International Brent crude oil futures were at $67.61 a barrel at 0054 GMT, up 6 cents, or 0.1%, from their last close. Brent touched $67.76 a barrel on Wednesday, its highest since November 16.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.29 per barrel, up 3 cents, or 0.1%, from their last settlement. WTI hit a high of $58.48 a barrel on Wednesday, the highest since November 13.

“Opec [Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries] continues to cut output amid ongoing supply issues, while the situation in Venezuela remains bleak,” ANZ Bank said in a research note.

Two storage tanks exploded at a heavy-crude upgrading project in eastern Venezuela on Wednesday, according to an oil industry source and a legislator, while the country’s main oil terminal resumed shipments after a prolonged blackout.

US crude stocks also fell last week as refineries hiked output, the Energy Information Administration said.

Crude inventories fell by 3.9-million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 2.7-million barrels.

Reuters