Crude oil prices were up at trading start on Wednesday as U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela are set to lead to production declines, which in turn will remove supply from the global oil market.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $66.83 per barrel at 0620 GMT with a 0.3 percent gain after it closed Monday at $66.65 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was priced at $57.05 a barrel at the same time for a 0.1 percent increase after ending the previous session at $56.98 per barrel.
Due to U.S. sanctions, Iran's oil production is estimated to drop to 2.65 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019, from 3.85 million bpd in 2018, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its Oil 2019 Report released on Monday.
Venezuela's oil production is also forecast to decrease to 750,000 bpd this year, from 1.31 million bpd last year, according to the report.
As the two countries are expected to account for a total of 1.76 million bpd in lost production, crude prices are anticipated to increase further unless there is replacement supply from other major oil producers, experts warn.
OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said Monday at the CERAWeek 2019 energy conference in Houston, Texas that rebalancing of the global oil market was a "work in progress," adding that supply adjustments would continue throughout this year.
OPEC and its allies agreed on Dec. 7 to curb their total production by 1.2 million bpd for the first six months of 2019.
By Ovunc Kutlu