Next OPEC meeting not to change situation on oil market

Next OPEC meeting not to change situation on oil market

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 2

By Anakhanum Hidayatova – Trend:

The next OPEC meeting is facing a number of same challenges as from the last meeting, namely disagreement on the path forward, Theodore Karasik, senior advisor at Gulf State Analytics, Washington DC, told Trend Nov. 2.

“Politics, of course, are increasingly playing a critical factor given that oil is fluctuating near $50 a barrel amid uncertainty over whether OPEC can implement meaningful supply cuts for the first time in eight years,” said Karasik.

The expert noted that OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo warned of the consequences if producers don’t follow through on an agreement to reduce output further as was reached temporarily in last week's Geneva.

“The price recovery has already taken far too long and suppliers can’t risk delaying action any longer,” he added.

Complicating matters is Iraq's position on any OPEC agreement given the country's ongoing domestic turmoil in both fighting the Islamic State but also sharp accusations flying back and forth within the Iraqi government, said Karasik.

He went on to add that Venezuela, which is facing a dramatic domestic revolt that could lead to a number of possibilities including a civil war, must be taken into account.

“Thus, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro traveled to Azerbaijan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, for help in the current OPEC crisis,” said the expert.

He thinks that positions of Russia and OPEC contradict each other.

“Moscow is arguing that it’s willing to freeze production, rather than cut, but only if there is an OPEC agreement first,” noted Karasik.

The expert believes that the meeting won’t bring significant results, but disagreements between the parties will remain.

In September, OPEC producers agreed during the informal meeting in Algiers to cut down the oil output to 32.5 million barrels per day (bpd) from current production of 33.24 million bpd.

How much each country will produce is to be decided at the next formal meeting of OPEC on Nov. 30 in Vienna.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Anahanum

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