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OPEC agrees to deal to cut oil output, despite Trump pressure

07 December 2018
OPEC agrees to deal to cut oil output, despite Trump pressure

Ultimately, this is a market that I think continues to see a lot of sensitivity to not only OPEC, but U.S. dollar strength.

"Given the recent ramp-up in supply from these producers, this represents a year-on-year decline in crude output of just 0.2 million barrels per day for 2019", Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president for macro oils at Wood Mackenzie, said in a briefing.

It has sometimes been charged with holding the world to ransom - notably in the mid-1970s when it cut supplies and the price tripled.

His remarks come amid an OPEC meeting in Vienna with countries expected to recommend production cuts.

In October, the oil price reached a four-year high of $86, but since then the price has dropped again to about $60 per barrel. Underneath, I think that if we continue to go lower, we could be kicking off a bearish flag that opens up the possibility of a move to as low as $40. "We continue to re-tool our export infrastructure along the Gulf Coast to expand capacity, and you continue to see strong demand globally for crude oil".

Russian Federation has contributed to Opec's current effort to move prices higher.

Analysts estimate that if Russian Federation is willing to step up its production cuts, OPEC and non-OPEC countries could trim production by a combined 1.3-1.4 million barrels a day.

"The big unknown is how President Trump will react to any production cuts", said analysts at ING. Delegates said details of how to share that out and the extent of the contribution from non-OPEC allies remained unresolved.

Prices have fallen partly because the U.S. issued waivers for sanctions imposed on Iran at the start of November.

A slowing economy may further undermine oil prices.

But some of Iran's biggest customers - China, India and Japan - have been given temporary exemptions and can continue to buy Iranian oil for now without being hit by U.S. action.

That said, the rise in prices since late 2016 did owe something to the agreement between Opec, Russia and others.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de facto leader, has made clear that it won't shoulder the burden of trimming production alone.

The last time the OPEC+ group agreed to curtail output, in late 2016, it settled on a combined 1.8 million-barrel-a-day reduction.

That is an indicator of the extent to which production is being restrained.

Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, does not want to be part of the Saudi plan.

Key to the global economic outlook will be whether the United States and China can resolve their trade disputes.

The US is a very different beast from the others. By some estimates, the USA this year became the world's top crude producer.

The country still has to import oil.

More than 75 percent of dedicated USA shale firms continue to report capital expenditure exceeding their cash flow from operating activities, the consultancy has estimated on the basis of company reports and its own research and analysis.

It does not need such large-scale investment as conventional oil. It fell further on Thursday after OPEC's lack of action and amid broader concerns about global economic growth.

"Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted".