OPEC took a swing at US shale and knocked down Canada. Threatened by surging production from North America, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has been pumping above its quota for 17 months as it seeks to take market share from higher-cost regions. The resulting 60 percent price crash is hitting Alberta harder than Texas. Canadian producers are struggling to cut the cost of extracting bitumen from the oil sands, and their other wells are failing to match the efficiency gains of US rivals, a Bloomberg Intelligence analysis shows.
When it comes to deciding how much to charge Asian oil buyers, OPEC members are showing little regard for tradition. Suppliers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have long moved in lockstep, raising or lowering prices in tandem. Now, Kuwait is undercutting Saudi Arabia by the most on record and Iraq is also selling its oil more cheaply than the group’s biggest member. Qatar is pricing cargoes at the biggest discount in 27 months to competing crude from the U.A.E.’s Abu Dhabi. While the group that accounts for about 40 percent of global oil supplies maintains a collective strategy of flooding the market with crude, the semblance of unity has vanished when setting monthly selling prices. With Asia forecast to account for most of the growth in global oil demand this year, competition for the region’s buyers is trumping historical allegiances.
Venezuelan proposals for a summit between OPEC and non-OPEC producers are advancing, and should focus on bolstering oil prices rather than limiting volumes, government officials said Tuesday. The country seeks a fair price for oil that will support economic growth and energy demand, Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino said in an interview at Tuesday’s meeting between Venezuela and Saudi Arabia officials in Caracas. The oil price floor Venezuela is suggesting would be analyzed every quarter, he said. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has come under pressure from Venezuela and some other members to take action after the group decided last November not to reduce output. Saudi Arabia led OPEC’s decision to compete for market share against US shale producers rather than support prices. Oil in New York and London reached six-year lows last month amid excess global supply.
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies are at odds with Iran and other OPEC members over whether the organization should include oil-price forecasts in its long-term strategy report, according to three of the group’s delegates. The Gulf kingdom, which has led the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in a battle against rival producers, is seeking to exclude price assumptions from the report, according to the delegates, who asked not to be identified because the document isn’t public. The disagreement reflects internal divisions over whether OPEC policy should focus on prices or the stability of the oil market, one of the delegates said.
The decision by OPEC that the output ceiling would remain unchanged has seen the price of Brent drop below $75 for the first time since 2010. Here is just some of the reaction from around the world following that announcement in Vienna: