No pipeline, no problem as oil sands hit the railroad

No pipeline, no problem as oil sands hit the railroad

No pipeline, no problem as oil sands hit the railroad

Meanwhile, markets digest the latest reports of potential USA sanctions on Venezuela's crude oil exports, which could make the oil markets tighter, with the OPEC output cuts already underway.

International Brent crude oil futures were at $61.89 a barrel at 0246 GMT, 80 cents, or 1.3 percent, above their last close.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 51 cents to settle at $53.13 a barrel, a 0.97 percent gain. The threat to reduce supplies supported futures prices.

Venezuelan oil is predominantly heavy crude, which requires extensive refining.

Global oil markets are still well supplied thanks in part to a spike in United States output.

Amid violent street protests, Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president earlier this week, winning backing from Washington and large parts of Latin America, prompting Nicolas Maduro, the country's leader since 2013, to break relations with the United States.

Record U.S. production would likely offset any short-term disruptions to Venezuelan supply due to possible U.S. sanctions, Britain's Barclays on Thursday said in a note.

Both Brent and WTI are both backed by light, sweet crudes, and are not directly linked to Venezuelan oil.

Two of the world's biggest commodities trading houses, Glencore and Mercuria Energy Group, predict more oil price volatility in coming months due to concerns about supplies from Venezuela and Iran.

Weighing on oil futures, U.S. crude inventories USOILC=ECI sharply rose by 8 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday, versus forecasts for a decline of 42,000 barrels.

Gasoline stocks rose for the eighth straight week to a record 259.7 million barrels, as demand for the motor fuel over the past four weeks fell 0.1 percent from a year ago.

According to Reuters' polls of hundreds of economists worldwide, a synchronised global economic slowdown is under way and would deepen if the US-China trade war escalated.

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