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Energy Quote of the Day: Handicapping an Opec Oil Production Cut

(L-R) Nigeria's head of delgation and OP

Oil market observers will take a break from their Turkey preparations to see whether Opec producers decide to cut oil output in a bid to stabilize prices. The meeting being held in Vienna will be long over by the time folks in the US sit down to Thanksgiving dinner.

But there is no shortage of views about what action Opec members will take, with the most-likely outcome being a pledge to adhere to previously agreed quotas set in 2011. That commitment put a 30 million barrel per day production ceiling in place, but individual members routinely produce volumes in excess of their agreed quotas.

It’s possible Opec will agree to further cuts – by perhaps half a million or even 1 mmb/d – according to some analysts.

“There is a decent chance that you will see, a small quota cut like half a million barrels a day, maybe a million barrels a day, and most of that will be borne by the Saudis, this would mean some price stability, in the near term, around where we are now, 75 to 80 dollars. But I think if the meeting just breaks up with people denouncing each other, then we will see prices start to slide again,” said Michael Lynch of Strategic Energy and Economic Research as reported by Voice of America.

Analysts at Citi including Seth Kleinman, Eric Lee, Christopher Main, Edward Morse and Anthony Yuen agree that some form of a cut is likely, but a significant pullback – on the order of 1 or 2 mmb/d – is unlikely given the deep lack of consensus among the producer group. In the absence of a considerable production cut, oil prices are expected to continue their recent decline.

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Jared Anderson's picture

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Keith Pickering's picture
Keith Pickering on November 30, 2014

Just FYI for those who have not heard, OPEC decided not to cut production at the Vienna meeting. Spot oil prices plunged further on the news, to below $70/bbl.

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