OPEC Meeting: Are The Cartel's Days Numbered? Chances Of Production Cut Deal Appear Slim As Individual National Interests Trump Unity

International Business Times

OPEC, which for decades controlled global oil production, appeared to be losing its grip ahead of Wednesday's scheduled meeting in Vienna to freeze or reduce output and prop up prices. Some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have been trying to convince the rest to cut production to boost oil prices, which are half of what they were in 2014, currently hovering in the mid-$40 a barrel, the result of an oil glut. Current price levels are good news for airlines, truckers and drivers but bad news for alternative energy startups, shale oil and gas operations, and economies dependent on oil prices to fund their budgets. Any price increase, however, could come at the cost of market share as Asian buyers, who use a third of the world's supply, look elsewhere, Reuters reported. "For us, the current price levels look to be appropriate for both sides [buyers and producers]," said Eiichiro Kitahara, executive officer at Japanese refinery TonenGeneral Sekiyu.


Who really influences the price of oil?

BBC News

Opec, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has certainly had its share of criticism over many years. President Trump recently accused the group of "ripping off the rest of the world" and keeping oil prices "artificially high". It has sometimes been charged with holding the world to ransom - notably in the mid-1970s when it cut supplies and the price tripled. But as Opec energy ministers meet in Vienna, does the group really wield that much influence any more? They are being joined by some non-member oil-producing countries, notably Russia.


OPEC Meeting 2016: Saudi Arabia Oil Strategy In Focus At Crude Cartel Meeting In Vienna

International Business Times

With oil prices back on the rise, OPEC delegates aren't expected to forge a deal to curtail crude production when they meet this week in Vienna. Instead, the talks are likely to focus on Saudi Arabia's newly appointed energy minister and whether the kingdom will seek to unify the cartel, or put Saudi interests first. The biannual meeting on Thursday will arrive just weeks after Saudi officials scuttled a plan between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to freeze oil production and shore up crude prices, which have plunged over the last two years due to a supply glut. Saudi Arabia's intervention at the gathering in Doha, Qatar, has heightened tensions between the kingdom and its longtime political rival, Iran. It also widened the growing rift between OPEC's wealthier Gulf countries and its poorer members, including Venezuela and Algeria, where low oil prices have thrust the economies into turmoil.


Oil meeting in Qatar collapses without freeze as Iran absent

Associated Press

A meeting of oil-rich countries in Qatar that had been expected to boost crude prices by freezing production fell apart Sunday as Iran stayed home and vowed to increase its output despite threats by Saudi Arabia. The fact that producers couldn't agree to a freeze, let alone a production cut, likely means oil prices will drop again as markets open Monday. Sunday's gathering grew out a surprise Doha meeting in February between Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, in which they pledged to cap their crude output at January levels if other producers did the same. Ahead of Sunday's meeting, Iraq boosted its production to record territory of over 4 million barrels a day in March, and Kuwait pumped 3 million barrels a day with homes of reaching 4 million a day by 2020.


Oil meeting in Qatar collapses without freeze as Iran absent

Associated Press

A meeting of oil-rich countries in Qatar that had been expected to boost crude prices by freezing production fell apart Sunday as Iran stayed home and vowed to increase its output despite threats by Saudi Arabia. The fact that producers couldn't agree to a freeze, let alone a production cut, likely means oil prices will drop again as markets open Monday. Sunday's gathering grew out of a surprise Doha meeting in February between Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, in which they pledged to cap their crude output at January levels if other producers did the same. It produces 3.2 million barrels of oil a day now, with hopes of increasing to 4 million by April 2017.