- Russians and Saudis Pledge Joint Effort to Limit Oil Production
Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s two largest crude oil producers, said they’re ready to cooperate to limit output, helping send prices to a one-year high in London.
Russia is willing to join OPEC’s efforts to stabilize the market, which would require either a freeze or a cut, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul. Many producers outside the group have expressed a willingness to cooperate on output caps, said Saudi Arabia’s Energy and Industry Minister Khalid Al-Falih, who added that he was “optimistic” there’ll be a deal that could lift prices as high as $60 by year-end.
Coordinated output curbs by Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, who together pump about half the world’s oil, could boost fuel prices for consumers and revive the fortunes of a battered energy industry. While Putin’s comments are the firmest indication yet that such an agreement is possible, Russia is still pumping at record levels and has stopped short of a commitment to pull back. OPEC members also have many hurdles to overcome before implementing their first cuts in eight years.
“It’s a little bit early to start celebrating an agreement,” Tord Lien, Norway’s Petroleum and Energy Minister, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Monday. “They have made great progress, and this could end up in an agreement that will materialize around Christmas and the first quarter of next year.”
Ministers from some of the largest oil-producing nations are gathering in Turkey this week to discuss ways to end a two-year supply glut. With benchmark Brent crude trading at about $53 a barrel — less than half its price in mid-2014 — countries including Saudi Arabia remain under severe economic pressure, prompting last month’s surprise reversal of its policy of pumping without constraints.
OPEC agreed in principle on Sept. 28 in Algiers to limit output to a range of 32.5 million to 33 million barrels a day, compared with production last month of about 33.75 million. While the deal has helped lift crude prices by about 15 percent, precise details of who would make the cuts or whether producers outside the group would join weren’t finalized.
An OPEC committee will work on the details of how to share the burden of cuts and present its proposals at a formal Nov. 30 meeting in Vienna. Ministers from some group members, including Saudi Arabia and Algeria, will meet with non-OPEC nations including Russia and Azerbaijan in Istanbul on Wednesday to discuss wider cooperation.
“Russia is ready to join in joint measures to limit output and calls on other oil exporters to do the same,” Putin said. “In the current situation, we think that a freeze or even a cut in oil production is probably the only proper decision to preserve stability in the global energy market.”
So far this month, Russia has pumped crude and and a light oil called condensate at a rate of 11.2 million barrels a day, according to preliminary data from the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit. If that continued for the whole month, it would set a post-Soviet record, beating September’s 11.1 million barrels a day. Russia would prefer to freeze its output at current levels rather than make reductions, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said earlier Monday in Istanbul.
For the Algiers production deal to work, Saudi Arabia would need to make some cuts. The kingdom pumped 10.58 million barrels of crude a day in September, just shy of its July record of 10.66 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Brent prices reached a one-year high of $53.73 a barrel in London Monday. Both Saudi Arabia’s Al-Falih and Bob Dudley, the chief executive officer of BP Plc, said that oil prices of about $60 a barrel by year-end are possible.
While traders have clearly welcomed the comments from Saudi Arabia and Russia, “caution may be the best practice,” Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets U.K. Ltd., said by e-mail. “If history tells us anything, it is that these major oil players also have the habit to not respect the agreed agreement.”
Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday
Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.
Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.
While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.
According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.
“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”
Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.
“The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.
“I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
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