Wednesday’s talks among the 13 members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries focused on administrative affairs, including an update to the group’s manifesto of guiding principles known as its Long-Term Strategy. The meeting of the wider 23-nation OPEC+ alliance tomorrow will have more significance — the anticipated ratification of a supply increase for August that will complete the return of production halted at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Crude traders are more focused on what OPEC’s biggest Persian Gulf members will do after that, a decision that may ultimately hinge on the outcome of President Joe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia next month, when he is expected to look for help in bringing prices down. The key question is whether Riyadh and Abu Dhabi can be persuaded to pump more, and if they even have enough leftover barrels to do so.
(All times CET)
OPEC Discussed December In-Person Meeting in Vienna (3:29 p.m.)
The group discussed a proposal to have an in-person meeting in Vienna in December, delegates said. OPEC has been meeting online since the start of pandemic in 2020.
OPEC Meeting Ends Without Any Discussion of Output Policy (2:57 p.m.)
Ministers concluded their meeting without discussing oil-production policy, delegates said. Members agreed on a resolution related to administrative matters, said one delegate.
Iran Nuclear Talks in Doha End ‘With Little Effect’ (2:15 p.m.)
The decision-making process may grow a little easier for OPEC after the latest round of nuclear talks between fellow member Iran and the European Union ended on Wednesday with “little effect on progress of negotiations,” semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, citing informed sources.
That means OPEC’s top two producers, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, can be less concerned about the prospect of a breakthrough that would lift US sanctions on Iran’s petroleum trade — pushing a flood of crude onto the market and enriching their political rival.
Shell CEO Says Spare Capacity Running Very Low (13:37 p.m.)
The world is set for a “turbulent period” because spare energy production capacity is running “very low,” Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden told journalists in Singapore. OPEC doesn’t have as much idle capacity as many people think and there is a “fear factor” in oil prices as a result of an “ever-tighter market,” he said.
OPEC Ministers Begin Their Talks (1:10 p.m.)
Ministers from OPEC nations have now started their video conference, delegates said, asking not to be named because the information isn’t public.
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