Saudi Arabia doesn’t need U.S. permission to cut oil output - energy minister

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Oil prices tumbled about 3 percent on Thursday as OPEC reportedly agreed to cut production, but ended its closely-watched meeting without a decision on how much crude the cartel will take off the market.

"We are becoming the dominant energy power in the world", said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is meeting at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday to decide its production policy.

Brent crude, the worldwide benchmark, has plunged from $86 at the start of October to around $60 recently, over concerns at a glut in supply and faltering in demand. However, he noted that all the participants will be listened to in order to arrive at a consensus on the issue.

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.

On paper, the shift to net oil imports means that the USA is today energy independent, achieving a rhetorical aspiration for generations of American politicians, from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush.

The price of a barrel of Brent, the European benchmark, fell four percent to below $60 Thursday because the projected reduction of around one million barrels was below what markets had been expecting, said CMC analyst, David Madden.

"Trump is making America great again", said Joe McMonigle, an oil analyst at Hedgeye Risk Management LLC and a former senior official at the U.S. Energy Department.

HE Minister of Sate for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida al Kaabi attends the 175th Opec meet in Vie
Santhosh V. Perumal

Oil prices have fallen by nearly a third since October to around $62 per barrel after Saudi Arabia raised production to make up for the drop in Iranian exports. A delegate from another country said some members believe a smaller reduction would be adequate. We have to get the non-OPEC countries on board.

Zanganeh said the estimated surplus now on the market amounted to 1.3-2.4 million barrels per day.

Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the polices of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

Earlier, Saudi oil minister al-Falih had said that a cut of a million barrels per day would be ideal.

Iran has said it is carefully monitoring the next steps by some OPEC members and their allies which have "arbitrarily" ramped up oil production, leading to a crash in prices.

Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States have been vying for the position of top crude producer in recent years.

OPEC members will also have to contend with Iran. One of the key questions in Thursday's talks is whether to exempt Iran from having to cut production, as its energy industry is already hobbled by USA sanctions on its crude exports. While it said it was purely a practical decision because it mainly produces natural gas and little oil, the move was viewed as a symbolic snub to the Saudi-dominated organization.

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