OPEC facing Trump. Saudi Arabia against the United States. It is today that the energy ministers of the cartel countries and some of their allies, Russia in the lead, are set to meet in Vienna to decide on a possible cut in their crude production. It is widely watched meeting as the prices of black gold fell by 30% in a few weeks. The barrel of light crude oil traded this morning above $53 after briefly passing the psychological barrier of $50 last week.
A decline in production of 1.3 million barrels a day?
The cartel and its allies are considering a deal to cut output by at least 1.3 million barrels a day (bpd), several sources told Reuters, adding that Russia’s resistance to a major drop is currently the main obstacle to overcome. Some countries estimate that a decrease of less than 1 million barrels a day would be enough to rebalance the markets, while others, led by Saudi Arabia, argue for a reduction of more than 1 mbd.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that a deal gets done, but the devil will be in the detail,” said Mohammad Darwazah, a director at Medley Global Advisers told Blomberg. “How OPEC communicates this to the market may be just as important as what gets done.”
Trump wants a status quo
Any decline in production in the Gulf countries could weigh in the relationship between the region and Washington while Donald Trump has stepped up several times to oppose such an initiative of OPEC + group. His last statement on this issue is on Wednesday, with the US president saying on Twitter: Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices “.
American production at the highest
Speech comes as US crude output reached 11.7 million barrels per day in November, surpassing for the first time both Russia (11.43 million bpd) and Saudi Arabia (10.7 million bpd), according to data from the US Department of Energy.