OPEC Looks Totally Bewildered by the Oil Market

It’s difficult to have any positive feeling towards OPEC member countries.

 

Their “Leaders,” have yet to take in any of the Syrian refugees while they wait for countries in the west to do their jobs.

The standard of living and income of the commoner living in an OPEC nation is woefully low.

Must see to believe. (Source)

 

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in Baghdad, Iraq, with the signing of an agreement in September 1960 by five countries namely Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

 

They were to become the Founder Members of the Organization.

These countries were later joined by Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962), Libya (1962), the United Arab Emirates (1967), Algeria (1969), Nigeria (1971), Ecuador (1973), Gabon (1975), Angola (2007) and Equatorial Guinea (2017).

Ecuador suspended its membership in December 1992 but rejoined OPEC in October 2007. Indonesia suspended its membership in January 2009, reactivated it again in January 2016, but decided to suspend its membership once more at the 171st Meeting of the OPEC Conference on 30 November 2016.

Gabon terminated its membership in January 1995.

However, it rejoined the Organization in July 2016.

This means that, currently, the Organization has a total of 14 Member Countries.

The OPEC Statute distinguishes between the Founder Members and Full Members – those countries whose applications for membership have been accepted by the Conference.

The Statute stipulates that “any country with a substantial net export of crude petroleum, which has fundamentally similar interests to those of Member Countries, may become a Full Member of the Organization, if accepted by a majority of three-fourths of Full Members, including the concurring votes of all Founder Members.”

The Statute further provides for Associate Members which are those countries that do not qualify for full membership but are nevertheless admitted under such special conditions as may be prescribed by the Conference. (Source)

Junme 25, 2016

It may be too soon to write OPEC’s obituary, but the oil producer club appears in urgent need of late-life care. It shows little understanding of where it is, how it got there or where it’s going. While it still manages to collect new members here and there, its core group looks more fragile than at any point in nearly 30 years.

 

Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister, left, Khalid Bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister and president of OPEC, and Mohammed Barkindo, secretary general of OPEC, attend a news conference following the 172nd Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, May 25, 2017. OPEC extended oil production cuts for nine more months after last year’s landmark agreement failed to eliminate the global oversupply or achieve a sustained price recovery. Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg

 

The historic output agreements, put together so painstakingly last year, are failing.

Nearly 12 months of shuttle diplomacy culminated in two deals that would see 22 countries cut production by nearly 1.8 million barrels a day.

Implementation has been better than for any previous output cut, with compliance put at 106 percent in May. A resounding success? Hardly.

We’re now in the final month of those deals and oil prices are lower than when they were agreed. Not only have producers sacrificed volume, but they earn less for each barrel they do produce.

See the entire article below.

 

The recent extension of the deals just leaves output restraint in place for another nine months, the best response OPEC could muster. Deeper cuts were barely mentioned. Assertions to do “whatever it takes” ring hollow.

Indeed, there’s no appetite for the big cuts that would demand real sacrifices in countries such as Russia, where normal seasonal factors helped it lower production in the first half of the year. Just sticking to current output levels could be difficult for the rest of 2017: early maintenance work has helped several OPEC members meet their targets but that can’t continue. Then there’s the problem of recovering output from Libya and Nigeria, both exempt from the cuts.

The malaise runs much deeper, though. Beneath a veneer of unity, rifts are developing among core Middle East members. The Saudi-led confrontation with Qatar could create the most serious split since Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. As I wrote last week, Iraq might be in Mohammed bin Salman’s sights next, as Iran’s influence there grows and Baghdad lags the rest in implementing output cuts.

Iraq’s Over-production

As if the internal failings weren’t enough, OPEC seems to have lost touch with reality. Ministers say higher prices are needed to pay for investment in future production capacity, issuing dire warnings of a future supply crunch. They said the same thing to justify prices soaring above $100 a barrel in 2008. It wasn’t true then, and it may not be true now.

The oil industry has responded to the price slump by slashing costs. Projects that needed $100 crude to break even have magically been redesigned to be profitable at half that level.

OPEC has completely misjudged the North American shale industry and seems not to understand how it is still evolving rapidly.

It’s a little like trying to explain the internet to my 85-year-old mother, or my 12-year-old daughter trying to explain social media to me.

As consultant Morten Frisch tells me, drilling horizontal sidetracks from abandoned wells in the Permian Basin is yielding a 91 percent internal rate of return on a $7 million investment and delivering 1,500 barrels a day of crude.

He predicts large production increases from vertical wells in previously produced areas in the Permian.

Having failed to use the good times to invest for a future of low oil prices, OPEC is facing a crisis of old age. It is falling apart internally, confounded by the world and increasingly irrelevant.

Julian Lee is an oil strategist for Bloomberg First Word. Previously he worked as a senior analyst at the Centre for Global Energy Studies.

 

THE END

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