Tuesday, 19 March, 2019

Iraq agrees to nine-month extension of OPEC production cut: minister

Laurie Berry | 24 May, 2017, 14:10

Releasing reserves would add supplies to already high and rising United States production of 9.3 million bpd, not far off levels of top suppliers Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation. The talks in Vienna are closely followed elsewhere as they can affect everything from the share price of Exxon Mobil to the Brazilian real and Nigerian sovereign bonds. Al-Luaibi had previously said that Iraq would support a six-month extension.

Investors should also note that OPEC's effect on prices is ultimately determined by its members' willingness to abide by its decisions, and they should pay attention in the long run to see if the petroleum exporting countries stick to their obligations.

For the year to date, Saudi Arabia still stood a touch higher over Russian Federation, with 18.314 million tonnes supplied versus Russia's 18.29 million tonnes. Kazakhstan and Iran are among the nations not to have expressed a view in public.

But as far as Helima Croft, commodities strategist at RBC Capital Markets, is concerned, getting Iraq to follow through on its agreement to extend its cuts under OPEC "is going to be interesting".

Al-Falih says he doesn't expect any objections to a nine-month extension to the output cut deal between OPEC and none-OPEC members through March 2018.

OPEC members are scheduled to meet on 25 May and are speculated to extend the oil curb deal to the second half of this year or to the first quarter of the next year.

Early in the week, oil prices were up in anticipation of the meeting, in addition to oil stocks, including Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) and BP plc (ADR) (NYSE: BP).

U.S. crude stockpiles remained in focus, as investors awaited the release of inventories data from The American Petroleum Institute at 16:30 EDT, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration at 10:30 EDT on Wednesday, expected to show U.S. crude stockpiles fell for a sixth-straight week.

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Al Horford also chipped in with 16 points and six rebounds in his first postseason victory against LeBron James while Avery Bradley finished with 20 points.

With shale companies turning into leaner and fitter outfits able to thrive at $50/bbl, more is coming, with the EIA predicting USA output will hit a record above 10 MMbpd next year.

Energy industry experts like what they see in the days leading up to the OPEC meeting.

With the problem of shale output and the strategic petroleum reserve looming for next year, OPEC is in a hurry to hammer a deal now that reduces the glut.

On Monday, OPEC's de-facto leader Saudi Arabia gained support from the second largest producer in the cartel, Iraq.

"Such a ramp-up in OPEC and Russian Federation production would occur in the face of still rising non-OPEC production outside of U.S. shale, with legacy projects started through 2014 still coming online in Brazil, Canada and the North Sea in particular", said the Goldman analysts.

OPEC is nearing the end of a six-month agreement to cut its collective production (along with 11 other non-member petrostates) to try and cut away at the global glut of crude and kick off a price rebound, but not all of its members are adhering to the plan.

"The U.S. has likely become more sanguine when it comes to having a very large SPR holding, given lofty medium term forecasts for the Permian basin", said Virendra Chauhan, oil analyst at consultancy Energy Aspects, referring to a large U.S. shale oil field.


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