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06 December 2018, 11:50 | Hattie Nash
Trump asks OPEC not to cut production
The move would mean reducing production by more than 1 million bpd.
OPEC's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, has indicated it wants the organisation and its allies to curb output by at least 1.3 million bpd, or 1.3 percent of global production.
Russia, a major oil producer but not a member of OPEC, will meet with the producer cartel on Friday to discuss production levels, and it is widely expected that a supply cut will be agreed. A delegate from another country said some members believe a smaller reduction would be adequate.
Riyadh wants Moscow to contribute at least 250,000-300,000 bpd to the cut but Russian Federation insists the quantity should be only half of that, OPEC and non-OPEC sources said.
Oil output from the world's biggest producers - OPEC, Russia and the United States - has increased by a 3.3 million bpd since the end of 2017, to 56.38 million bpd, meeting nearly 60 per cent of global consumption.
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Oil markets rose on Wednesday ahead of the meeting. It is the United States where we are seeing the bulk of the increase in oil output.
Iranian exports have plummeted after Washington imposed fresh sanctions on Tehran in November.
However, when oil producers realized the sanctions fell far short of what had been expected, fears of oversupply followed.
Despite the extreme volatility experienced in the oil industry, with expectations that this trend will continue, the World Bank noted that Russia's high level of worldwide reserves ($461 billion), small global debt (29 percent of GDP), and "comfortable import cover (15.9 months) positions Russian Federation well to absorb external shocks", the report reads.
President Trump's Tweet could be seen as a warning to the cartel to measure any production cuts carefully, but OPEC has always been the target of Trump's tweets, even prior to his presidency, chastising the organization for restricting oil during the near-$100/barrel days. Trump wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.
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That has put OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia in a delicate position - Riyadh is keen not to incur Trump's wrath as relations between the two countries become increasingly complicated in the wake of the murder of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump has backed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite calls from many U.S. politicians to impose stiff sanctions on Riyadh.
"We think OPEC will spend some time to choose the words being used".
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