Easwaran Kanason

Co - founder of NrgEdge
Last Updated: December 1, 2017
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Business Trends

As predicted, the OPEC meeting in Vienna yielded an extension of the current supply freeze deal from March 31, 2018 to December 31, 2018. This had been telegraphed well in advance of the meeting; in response to the official announcement, Brent prices slipped slightly – a sign that traders were disappointed that a more aggressive deal did not emerge.

There is signs for cheer, though. OPEC managed to get Libya and Nigeria – exempt from the last round of cuts – to agree to cap their 2018 output at a collective 2.8 mmb/d, which acknowledging the fact that both countries were still facing insurgent forces within their borders. All other OPEC production level limits will remain in place; compliance to the deal has been unusually high by OPEC standards, and despite geopolitical squabbles, OPEC’s oil ministers are at least united. Compliance among the NOPEC bloc, however, has been spottier. With countries like South Sudan announcing plans to increase output well above the rates agreed to in June, it is unlikely that NOPEC will meet its (voluntary) production commitments.

But even with that, there is evidence that the global supply glut is reducing. With world economic growth estimates trending more positive for 2018, OPEC itself thinks the market will reach balance by mid-2018. Which is why major OPEC nations including Iraq and Iran insisted on language that allowed OPEC to revisit or even retire the deal in June 2018, should the market tighten. With disruption risks ongoing in Libya and Nigeria, Venezuela on the verge of default and the Middle East embroiled in a political standoff, overheating could come even sooner. At the meeting, Russia insisted that OPEC develop a clear exit strategy from the deal, evidence that OPEC is not considering an extension into 2019. Even US shale producers are seeing the signs, issuing warnings that aggressive expansion could reverse all the good the OPEC deal has done and create another price crash. The extension of the deal is necessary, for now, but it clear that the oil world needs to start preparing for a post-deal environment.

The current breakdown of the OPEC and Non-OPEC oil production deal

OPEC production level limit

  • Saudi Arabia – 10.058 mmb/d
  • Iraq – 4.351 mmb/d
  • Iran – 3.797 mmb/d
  • UAE – 2.874 mmb/d
  • Kuwait – 2.707 mmb/d
  • Venezuela – 1.972 mmb/d
  • Angola – 1.673 mmb/d
  • Algeria – 1.039 mmb/d
  • Qatar – 0.618 mmb/d
  • Ecuador – 0.522 mmb/d
  • Gabon – 0.193 mmb/d
  • *NEW Libya – 1.000 mmb/d
  • *NEW Nigeria – 1.800 mmb/d
  • TOTAL: 32.601 mmb/d vs (34.1 mmb/d average in 2016)
  • Total cuts of 1.499 mmb/d

Estimated Non-OPEC production level limit

  • Russia – 11.000 mmb/d (minus 300,000 b/d)
  • Mexico – 1.944 mmb/d (minus 100,000 b/d)
  • Kazakhstan – 1.650 mmb/d (minus 50,000 b/d)
  • Oman – 0.950 mmb/d (minus 45,000 b/d)
  • Azerbaijan 0.750 mmb/d (minus 35,000 b/d)
  • Malaysia – 0.665 mmb/d (minus 35,000 b/d)
  • Equatorial Guinea – 0.185 mmb/d (minus 12,000 b/d)
  • South Sudan – 0.130 mmb/d (minus 8,000 b/d)
  • Sudan – 0.120 mmb/d (minus 4,000 b/d)
  • Brunei – 0.110 mmb/d (minus 7,000 b/d)
  • Bolivia – 0.060 mmb/d (minus 4,000 b/d)
  • Bahrain – 0.040 mmb/d (minus 12,000 b/d)
  • TOTAL: 17.604 mmb/d vs (18.216 mmb/d average in 2016)
  • Total cuts of 0.612 mmb/d

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