Vienna walkout in the offing?

Are the odds on a pre-planned spontaneous walkout by the Saudi delegation in Vienna narrowing?

Some points to consider.

First, on 25 November an “Opec delegate” told Argus that this week’s meeting of ministers might fail to reach an output restraint deal. In subsequent days that message has been reinforced, with Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih telling reporters at the weekend that the market is rebalancing without Opec action and that Riyadh has other options.

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Viennese whirl

Well, jet fuel demand is getting a boost from the upcoming Opec and Opec-non-Opec gatherings in Vienna. Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro and oil minister Eulogio Del Pino have taken to the skies to lobby anyone who will listen on the need for production restraint, although cynics likened the jaunts to the spouse who deals with a domestic dispute by taking the dog for a walk. Russia’s oil minister Alexander Novak was cosying up chez-Saud earlier this week, and Opec secretary-general Mohammed Barkindo spent this morning trying to get Baghdad’s buy-in to the Algiers proto-deal.

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