Oil sharply higher on OPEC compliance

Posted February 11, 2017

Global oil supplies have decreased as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and producers outside the group comply with a six-month deal to curb output that took effect on January 1, Qatar's Energy Minister Mohammed Al Sada said Wednesday at a news briefing in Doha.

Herman Wang, OPEC specialist at S&P Global Platts, told CNBC that while the Saudis are doing the most to make the cutback agreement a success, "how long Saudi Arabia is willing to shoulder the burden of these cuts if it proves some of their cohorts are not fully complying with the deal remains to be seen".

This data includes increases in production from OPEC producers Nigeria and Libya, who are exempt from the cuts, though Stifel noted Nigeria is experiencing production issues.

It said it would not forecast what OPEC production will be during the six months covered by the output deal.

Looking ahead, the IEA sees non-OPEC production growing by 400,000 barrels per day this year on strong growth in the Americas as long-term Brazilian and Canadian projects come online and US shale exploration and production companies boost investment.

The oil market would be re-balanced when global inventories, now near record highs, approached their five-year average level, Al Sada said.

Oil prices were stable on Friday, supported by strong Chinese crude imports and OPEC-led production cuts, although ample USA fuel inventories weighed on the market.

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As far as the compliance by non-OPEC producers was concerned, Russian Federation was phasing in its production cuts gradually; Oman said it had cut in line with its commitment; and Kazakhstan "is reportedly exceeding its target".

While Russia is saying that it would undertake its share of promised oil production cuts, it is also saying it will be increasing its Urals crude oil exports in the first half of this year, leaving traders perplexed about how it is securing the additional exports while cutting production.

Qatar was the fourteenth largest total petroleum and liquids producer in 2015 with 2.049 million barrels per day of production.

"The push and pull between competing forces in the crude oil market continued overnight". This policy change was largely targeted towards ever increasing market share of the US shale oil companies.

Likewise, Russia, which has pledged to cut by 300,000 bpd cut by 100,000 bpd last month, the IEA estimates.

Egypt will receive one million Iraqi oil barrels a day, at a much lower price than Saudi Arabia's, which had been initially promised to Al Sisi in the framework agreement envisaging 23 billion United States dollars of aid on a yearly-basis. "With the current price some fields can be developed profitably though the majority of fields today will not be satisfied with this current price and will not be able to justify further development in high-cost oil fields, especially deep-water and unconventional fields", he added.

Al-Sada has previously said OPEC didn't feel threatened by low-priced shale production and how its proposed deal to cut production to ease oversupply could backfire.