OPEC+ may extend output cut deal until June 2020

OPEC and its Russia-led non-OPEC partners in the production cut deal is likely to roll over the current cuts into June 2020 in early December. Russia is likely to support the cartel’s efforts to raise the price of oil, Reuters reported last week, citing OPEC sources and delegates.  

Currently, the partners in the deal have two main scenarios to discuss—either roll over the cuts through June next year when they meet early next month, or postpone a decision on the deal for early 2020, before the current cuts expire in March and again, roll over the production restrictions until June, a source at OPEC told Reuters.

It is more likely that we will extend the agreement in December to send a positive message to the market. The Saudis don’t want oil prices to fall, they want to put a floor under the prices because of the Aramco IPO,” Reuters reported quoting the source.

Going into the December meeting, OPEC’s biggest producer and de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, is reportedly pressuring non-compliant cartel members to fall in line with their quotas, instead of pushing aggressively for a deeper overall cut.

OPEC’s key partner in the deal, Russia, is still non-committal, as it has been ahead of all previous such meetings, before agreeing to a rollover of the deal. But Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that Russia and OPEC have “a common goal” to keep the oil market balanced, and that Russia would continue to cooperate with the cartel to keep the market stable.

According to analysts, however, simply rolling over the production cuts may not be enough to rebalance the market and push up prices. The oil market will go into a sell-off mode in case of a mere extension until the middle of next year. The market expects deeper cuts through the rest of 2020. 

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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