To really understand what's helping push oil prices toward $70 a barrel, just follow the money.
Amid the bull run, which has pushed up crude prices by more than 13 percent since early December, there are indicators of an overheated market.
According to trade press reporting and tanker tracking data, importing diluent for blending with its heavy oil is becoming increasingly hard for Venezuela.
Crude prices are now in an uptrend that began midway through previous year. Analysts said that could have been the result of extreme cold temperatures across the United States.
But Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, warned on Friday that while oil prices at $65 to $70 per barrel are good for oil producers now, there is a risk that such a level would encourage more oversupply from US shale drillers.
US energy companies added 10 oil rigs this week, the biggest increase since June, bringing the total rig count to 752, the most since September, General Electric Co's (GE.N) Baker Hughes energy services firm said.
The U.S. Energy Department expects production will blow through 10 million bpd in the next few months, en route to 11 million bpd by next year, rivaling Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia. 2019 US production is forecast to average 10.8 million bpd, and to top 11 million bpd in November 2019, the agency said.
The rally has brought out some concerns that the market could overheat, especially as USA production is expected to rise to new records.
Some 800,000 bpd of the projected 1.2 million USA increase from December 2017 to December 2019 is expected to come from tight rock formations in the Permian region in Texas and New Mexico, the agency said.
There are conflicting views about how sustainable the increase in USA production is, and to what extent it actually exists.
Eagle Ford production is expected to be from 1.2 million bpd to 1.3 million bpd this year and next, which EIA said is slightly above the 2017 level.
Most of the remaining growth will come from offshore wells in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, with seven new projects expected to come online by the end of 2019, the agency said.
The EIA is out with the latest edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, examining projections for the energy industry for the next two years. Whether it's equity gauges being led higher by oil and gas companies or gains in other commodities markets, there's been a broad-based rotation into materials and the companies that process them. EIA said if the 6.9 bcf increase is achieved in 2018, it would be the highest on record.
Total US petroleum and other liquid fuels consumption is forecast to average 20.3 mb/d this year, up 2.4% from 2017, and rising by another 340,000 b/d, or 1.7%, in 2019.
China, by far Asia's biggest oil consumer, is now producing so much fuel that its refiners have turned to exports to find buyers.