Iraq's production ramp-up could foil Opec's push for curbs

Posted December 01, 2018

According to the news report by Bloomberg, after a short respite, the downward slide of the price of crude oil started once again after news broke that there had been an unexpected large increase in American crude oil inventories.

Saudi Arabia will not act alone to steady oil markets, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told reporters in Abuja yesterday ahead of what will be a key week for the global oil market.

Adding to the uncertainty in the oil markets were President Vladimir Putin's comments.

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"Trump tweets as if he has a joystick and he has everything under his command like he is playing one of these video games", said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service.

The sell-off in oil was mainly driven by the renewed concerns whether the OPEC+ will fail to deliver on the expected output cuts to stem the price declines and supply overhang when it meets next week in Vienna on December 6.

The negative economic outlook helped to push oil below $60 a barrel this week from as high as $85 in October, prompting some oil producing states to suggest significant production cuts. "Other insane people talk of $100 oil", said Pérez, who will represent his country at the OPEC meeting next week.

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Falih's challenge is to get other countries on board with output cuts to avert another crash in oil prices next year while disguising the kingdom's diminishing leverage in the oil market.

America, with OPEC and Russian Federation, seems to be working towards keeping oil in the $50 range globally, which means we can expect the local prices to stay at the current levels at least for some time. Thankful for Trump's public support, the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, might be more willing to tolerate low oil prices than he would have been otherwise. The tool, known as OpecWatch, uses West Texas Intermediate crude oil options markets to calculate the probabilities of certain outcomes of OPEC meetings. That appeared to contradict another Russian official who on Thursday indicated a willingness to join Saudi Arabia in supply cuts. "If no action is taken, oil prices could certainly drop further, while a production cut should lead to a sizable rebound for these severely oversold levels".

"Furthermore, our partners are helping us by introducing all these unlawful restrictions and violating principles of the global trade, because the whole world sees the dollar monopoly is unreliable; it is unsafe for many, not only for us", he said. According to Reuters, Moscow intends to reduce oil production gradually, and at the moment it is trading with Saudi Arabia with respect to time and volume reduction.

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Saudi Arabia benefits by drilling the cheapest oil in the world because of low capital spending and absence of gross tax on oil.