Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Oil prices rise by more than 1% after Saudi announcement

OPEC and its allies meet under mounting pressure to consider renewed production cuts after a slump in oil prices OPEC and its allies meet under mounting pressure to consider renewed production cuts after a slump in oil prices
Russell Knight | 13 November, 2018, 01:14

The slide also comes during signs of a softer-than-expected impact from United States sanctions on Iran oil exports.

Iraq and Saudi Arabia agreed on Saturday to work together to stabilise oil markets, Iraq's Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said, without giving further details.

The kingdom's energy minister, speaking after a meeting of Opec at the weekend, said the cartel believed that production would need to fall by almost 1m barrels per day (bpd) on October levels.

Khalid al-Falih's comments follow a meeting in Abu Dhabi at the weekend, where the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies started laying the groundwork to cut supply in 2019, reversing an nearly year-long expansion.

"We have to study all the factors", he said.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at 60.73 dollars per barrel, up by 54 cents, or 0.9 per cent from their last settlement.

"OPEC+ nations sent a clear signal they are concerned rising supply and weaker demand may keep pushing oil prices down", said Jason Bordoff, director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University in NY.

Stephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at Oanda, said: "The recent rebound in oil prices is a reminder that it will become increasingly hard for twin deficit currencies - rupee, rupiah and peso - to smooth currency volatility via rate hikes without hurting the economy, and through interventions without depleting reserves".

The country faces uncertain prospects in its attempts to persuade other producers to agree to a coordinated output cut.

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Since then, OPEC production has risen 820,000 bpd since May, according to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC survey.

"Supply is about 100 million barrels a day and demand is about 100 million barrels a day ..."

Falih said they would then decide whether to adjust production and by how much.

Saudi Arabia has been pumping 10.7 million bpd since October, Falih said.

It was "premature to talk about a specific action", he told reporters, asked about the possibility of an output cut to support sliding prices. "Sanctions didn't cut so much out of the market as anticipated", he added.

Decision comes amid fears of oversupply.

In his speech at the start of the meeting, Falih said the recent sharp drop in prices had "surprised us".

"We are going to do everything we can to keep inventories and supply-demand fundamentals within a reasonably narrow band around balance, and we believe markets will calm down."
This is necessary because OPEC members like Nigeria need crude prices to remain high for obvious reasons, one of which being the fact that there are budgets to be financed.

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