SINGAPORE (Bloomberg) -- OPEC needs a year more to accomplish what’s at the moment proving to be mission impossible, according to a veteran oil analyst.
Saudi Arabian oil minister Khalid Al-Falih acknowledged last week that the group and its allies, after three months of limiting output, have failed to hit their target of eroding oil inventories below the five-year historical average. The reductions need to be prolonged to not only until the end of 2017, but also extended through the first half of next year for the goal to be met, said Fereidun Fesharaki, the head of industry consultant FGE.
While OPEC and its partners began cutting output in January as part of a six-month deal, IEA data show inventories rose during the first quarter in developed nations, offsetting a decline in emerging economies. The accord between OPEC, Russia and 10 other nations was intended to boost prices by eliminating a stockpile surplus of about 300 MMbbl over the five-year average -- equivalent to three days of global oil production.
“All eyes are on inventories, as the market watches for signs of draws or builds in the coming months, but we’re some way away from OPEC’s target,” said Fesharaki, who founded FGE more than three decades ago. “OPEC and non-OPEC producers need to extend cuts up until the first half of 2018 to reach their goal of bringing inventories under the five-year mark.”
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Headline crude prices for the week beginning 16 September 2019 – Brent: US$69/b; WTI: US$63/b
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