Iran Sanctions And OPEC's Deliberations Have Failed To Lift Oil Prices

OPEC+ members met over the weekend to discuss the oil market and the possible actions they may take at the next OPEC meetings scheduled for June 25th and 26th. OPEC’s press release reported:

Following its 14th Meeting, which took place on 19 May 2019, in Jeddah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) has reaffirmed its commitment to achieving a balanced market and working towards oil market stability on a sustainable basis with solid fundamentals.”

After the meeting, ministers spoke with reporters. According to reporting by CNBC:

Saudi Arabia’s influential oil minister, Khalid al-Falih, warned that global crude stockpiles are rising, threatening to swamp the world in oil and cause prices to collapse. Overall, the market is in a delicate situation. On the one hand, there is a lot of concern — and we acknowledge it — about disruptions and sanctions and supply interruptions. But on the other hand, we see inventories rising. We see plentiful supply around the world, which means we think, all in all, we should be in a comfortable situation in the weeks and months to come.” Continue reading "Iran Sanctions And OPEC's Deliberations Have Failed To Lift Oil Prices"

Oil Market Readies For Iran Sanction Waivers, Round 2

Crude oil production in Iran had reached 3.84 million barrels per day (mmbd) in the period following the lifting of sanctions by the Obama Administration. But following President Trump’s announcement in May 2018 that the U.S. would re-impose sanctions in November, demand for Iranian crude dropped to 3.7 mmbd by October. In November, the Trump Administration allowed limited waivers to the sanctions to eight countries, but Iranian production dropped by another 700,000 b/d by March.

The waivers were designed to terminate on May 2nd, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced April 22nd that the waivers would not be extended. "This decision is intended to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue," the White House said in a statement.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Iran’s exports of crude and condensates are running about 1.1 mmbd in April. President Trump tweeted Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC had assured him that they would make up the impact of any decline in Iran’s exports:

Iran

In the months leading up to last November, KSA had increased its output to 11.1 mmbd, at the request of the White House, to ensure that oil supplies would be adequate once the Iranian sanctions took effect in November. But Trump’s granting of the waivers immediately created an oversupply in the global oil market, and oil prices collapsed as a result. Continue reading "Oil Market Readies For Iran Sanction Waivers, Round 2"

Saudi Arabia's "Mini Oil Embargo" May Backfire

On October 20, 1973, Saudi King Faisal announced KSA was joining in an oil embargo against the United States and Europe in favor of the Arab position in the Yom Kippur War. In an interview with international media, King Faisal said:

“America's complete Israeli support against the Arabs makes it extremely difficult for us to continue to supply the United States with oil, or even remain friends with the United States."

The price of oil quadrupled in short order, a few months. The oil shortage in America was managed by gasoline rationing by President Nixon. Drivers could buy gasoline on “odd” or “even” days, depending on the last digit of their license plate. There was also a maximum dollar amount set on purchases of $10. Motorists often had to wait in line for an hour to buy gas.

The economic impact on the U.S. and the world economy was devasting. It caused a massive recession in 1974-75, even though the embargo was lifted in March 1974. The Saudis and other OPEC producers learned how “inelastic” (i.e., non-responsive to price) gasoline demand was and their ability to stuff their coffers even with small cuts to production. Continue reading "Saudi Arabia's "Mini Oil Embargo" May Backfire"

OPEC's Plan To Institutionalize OPEC+ Has Failed

For over a year, OPEC General Secretary Mohammed Barkindo has been trying to "institutionalize" the OPEC+ arrangement that includes Russia. At the Oil and Money conference in October 2017 in London, Barkindo told reporters. "This platform of 24 countries, now hopefully growing, should be institutionalized."

OPEC+
Source: OPEC

In September, he said, "What we are working on now is to make it [cooperation] more permanent and institutionalize the framework. Our target is to have a longer cooperation framework in place by December when we reconvene in Vienna [for the next OPEC meeting]."

In an interview with TASS on October 22nd, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih explained his view for the long-term agreement he wanted in December: Continue reading "OPEC's Plan To Institutionalize OPEC+ Has Failed"

December OPEC Meeting Preview

When the OPEC-Non-OPEC Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) convened in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in mid-November, it reported in a press release:

The Committee reviewed current oil supply and demand fundamentals and noted that 2019 prospects point to higher supply growth than global requirements, taking into account current uncertainties. “The Committee also noted that the dampening of global economic growth prospects, in addition to associated uncertainties, could have repercussions for global oil demand in 2019 – and could lead to widening the gap between supply and demand.”

The figures they were reviewing were later released by OPEC in its November Monthly Oil Market Report. For 2019, they are projecting a decline in the demand for OPEC crude oil of about 1.04 million barrels per day to 31.54 mmbd. OPEC’s October production was estimated at 32.9 mmbd.

saudi energy minister khalid
Continue reading "December OPEC Meeting Preview"