Oil futures edged higher early Tuesday, steadying after a fall the previous session sparked by renewed talks that could ease U.S. sanctions on crude exports by Venezuela.
West Texas Intermediate crude
for November delivery
rose 33 cents, or 0.4%, to $86.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
December Brent crude
the global benchmark, gained 44 cents, or 0.5%, to $90.09 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
Crude surged last week on fears the Israel-Hamas war could spill over to involve Iran, potentially leading the U.S. to increase enforcement of sanctions that would curb exports and further tighten global supplies.
Oil prices pulled back Monday as investors monitored diplomatic efforts aimed at containing the conflict, while the prospect of more supply from Venezuela put added pressure on crude.
The Biden administration and the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro have agreed to a deal under which the U.S. would ease sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry. Venezuela, in return, would conduct a competitive, internationally monitored presidential election next year, the report said. The report said the deal was expected to be signed Tuesday in Barbados.
The State Department later Monday said that it welcomed an announcement by Maduro representatives and others to resume Venezuelan-led talks in Barbados.
An agreement that eases sanctions would “provide some relief from the supply-side concerns that lately have dominated the mindset of oil traders,” Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades, said in a note.
Meanwhile, a rush of diplomacy by global leaders to head off a wider conflict in the Middle East appeared to be soothing investor nerves for now, Raffi Boyadjian, lead investment analyst at XM, said in a note.
President Biden is set to visit Israel Wednesday, while Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a second visit in as many days on Monday, “underscoring the intense diplomatic efforts to contain the conflict and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza,” Boyadjian wrote.