“We do not know (if a deal will be concluded). We will find out during the meeting. I think the mood is generally optimistic and positive,” said the saudi minister of Energy Khalid al-Falih, just before the start of the meeting of the fourteen members of the Opec.
In a last-ditch effort of conciliation, the ministers met for an informal breakfast meeting, hoping to reconcile the points of view in order to set quotas by country intended to boost crude prices, depressed by a glut of supply since the summer of 2014.
The minister emirati Energy Suhail al-Mazroui also wanted to positive after these first discussions : “everyone is working really hard, we expect to have a meeting really positive and I hope we give you good news when we are finished“, he started.
His iraqi counterpart Jabbar al-Louaïbi was assured that there were “hope, lots of hope” and iran’s minister of Oil, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, has also said, “optimistic“.
buoyed by this hope, the price per barrel of Brent for delivery in January were sharply higher on Wednesday in the european exchanges, winner 2,41 usd compared to the end of Tuesday, at 48,79 dollars, and WTI for the same maturity was 2,17 $ 47,40 dollars, up respectively 5,20% and 4,80%.
An agreement for the limitation of the production is claimed by the countries most dependent on oil export revenues such as Nigeria or Venezuela, but he stumbles on the strong rivalries between Iran and saudi Arabia, and the precarious situation of some producers, in war, like Iraq and Libya.
the ministers of the Opec had set the goal, two months ago in Algeria, to bring back their production of 32.5 and 33 million barrels per day (mbd) and to reach an agreement with other major producers, notably the first of them, Russia, is said it supported the principle.
But Moscow, which has agreed to limit but not reduce its production, repeated Tuesday that it was necessary, first, that Opec would reach consensus among its members, before pushing the discussion further with the organization.
- ‘Help the market’ –
The algerian Energy minister Noureddine Boutarfa and his venezuelan counterpart Eulogio del Pino visited Monday in Moscow to try to persuade Russia to lower its production of 600,000 barrels per day (bj), or more than 500,000 bj drop proposed so far by the cartel.
But while saudi Arabia, the heavyweight of the cartel, seemed until then to judge “imperative” that a consensus can be found to implement the Algiers agreement, she cast a cold over the weekend suggesting that a decline of the offer was not binding and that the oil price would stabilize even without intervention from the cartel.
echoing the position of saudi arabia, the minister emirati Energy has estimated that the market was in any way on the road to rebalancing, but that an agreement was still needed “to help the market recover more quickly (rather) than wait for six months“.
Seeking to increase pressure on Tehran and Baghdad, the Saudis expressed their willingness Tuesday to reject any agreement if Iran and Iraq, the two most important producers in the cartel after them, were not involved, according to a source close to Ryad cited by the agency Bloomberg News.
“change of the time of the commencement of the formal meeting (Opec, editor’s note), 11: 00 central european time, rather than 10: 00 AM, suggests to some that the discussions are continuing and there is still a chance that the output is reduced,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, a specialist in commodities at SEB Markets.
other analysts believed the day before that the chances of a reduction in production were “really small” and that the cartel would postpone any decision to its next meeting in six months.