Crude oil prices edged lower Thursday, pulling back from the 13-month highs which followed last week’s winter storm that disrupted production in Texas, the biggest energy producing state in the U.S. By 9:45 AM ET (1445 GMT), U.S. crude futures traded 0.3% lower at $63.03 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract fell 0.3% to $65.97. The unprecedented cold snap in Texas caused U.S. crude production to drop by more than 10%, or 1 million barrels per day last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Venezuela is shipping jet fuel to Iran in return for vital gasoline imports for the South American nation as part of a swap deal agreed by the two state-run oil firms, three people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Iran has ramped up assistance to Venezuela since last year as the United States tightened sanctions on both countries, hitting oil exports by state-run firms Petroleos de Venezuela and National Iranian oil Company (NIOC). Iran has sent flotillas of state-operated tankers carrying gasoline and feedstock for motor fuel to Venezuela, as well as equipment and spare parts to help the once-prosperous OPEC nation restart its dilapidated refineries.