Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Saudi Arabia to boost oil production to record high

Saudi-Russian Oil Cooperation to Stabilize Market Oil prices rise amidst uncertainty over Libyan crude exports
Priscilla Morrison | 30 June, 2018, 19:54

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, and non-OPEC producers including Russian Federation agreed over the last few days on a modest increase in oil production from July, following calls from major consumers to curb rising fuel costs.

As such, the agreed upon OPEC increases of 1 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) are intended "to keep inventories towards more normal levels and not push the market into oversupply", Goldman Sachs said in a note.

Oilprice.com, a prominent industry site said Saudi will have the final say on how much oil is added to the market. As OPEC decides the oil prices based on production and supply, the lower the supply of oil the higher the oil prices will rise.

Risk consultancy Eurasia Group said it was "very unlikely" that the United States would succeed in ending Iranian oil sales as fast as it hoped.

Meanwhile, oil prices also got support from an outage at Canada's largest oil sands facility and concerns about Libya's crude exports due to developments in that country's ongoing conflict.

Analysts polled by S&P Global forecast a 2.3 million-barrel decline in crude stockpiles while analysts polled by Reuters expect a 2.6 million-barrel drop.

OPEC had agreed in November 2016 to reduce 1.2 million bpd from its output at that time. OPEC has a lot of power in influencing the oil prices which is why their decisions are so important to general consumers.

Benchmark oil prices jumped over 2 per cent yesterday and USA crude topped $70 for the first time in two months, as Washington pushed allies to halt imports of Iranian crude.

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"Looks like OPEC is at it again", Trump tweeted in mid-April.

Before last week's meeting, Russian Federation proposed OPEC and non-OPEC raised output by 1.5 million bpd, while Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies supported an increase of somewhere between 300,000 to 600,000 bpd.

He said that Aramco, which now pumps 10 million barrels a day, has the capacity to produce 2 million more.

Matt Smith, director of commodities research at ClipperData, agreed: "If we are going to see more Iranian barrels coming off the market, that is likely to be bullish for USA exports".

Escalating trade tensions between the United States and China, as well as Washington and Europe, had led two benchmark Wall Street indexes on Monday to suffer their biggest losses in more than two months and launched China into bear market territory, with its major stock indexes down 20 percent from January peaks. OPEC and Russian Federation together controlled enough of global oil production that they could force a price increase by cutting output (a classic example of market manipulation by a cartel).

OPEC and Russian Federation will now increase production by a total of around 1 million bpd over the rest of this year, which "should ensure ample supply and help to pull prices down", Pugh said.

The Saudi state oil company is putting part of the extra production on storage, according to the same people.

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