OPEC prolonging cut would accomplish mission to clear oil glut


The world’s two biggest oil exporters seem to have finally figured out how to eliminate a global surplus that’s kept crude prices in check for almost three years.

Saudi Arabia and Russia said in Beijing on Monday they favor prolongingthis year’s oil curbs to the first quarter of 2018. If they convince fellow producers to adopt the strategy when OPEC and its partners meet next week, it will pare near-record inventories in developed nations by 8 percent and erase the glut weighing on the market, according to Bloomberg calculations using U.S. government data.

“They have a very clear goal,” said Mike Wittner, head of oil market research at Societe Generale SA in New York. “They remain focused on having stocks get down to the five-year average. They really want to see it work.”

While news of the Saudi-Russia proposal helped send prices up to a two-week high, crude remains stuck near $50 a barrel, less than half the level traded in 2014. That’s because output cuts by OPEC and its allies have failed to drain bloated stockpiles as production rises in places like the U.S. and as demand growth slowed.

Inventories in the 35 of the world’s most industrialized nations — the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — were just above 3 billion barrels in April, or about 307 million above their five-year average, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows.

If OPEC and Russia complete the nine-month extension, stocks will fall to about 10 million barrels below that average next March, according to Bloomberg calculations using the EIA’s numbers.

The calculations assume OPEC keeps its output at April levels of 31.7 million barrels a day, and that Russia keeps supply steady at 11.15 million a day from May. Those levels represent the full cuts they’d agreed to undertake in a deal reached last year.

OPEC’s own data suggest it could take even longer to eliminate the surplus, while figures from the International Energy Agency indicate it could happen sooner.



maybe goldmans were right?


~ by seeker401 on May 17, 2017.

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