Opec knocked some 200,000 b/d off the forecast fall in 2016 non-Opec production shrinkage. And ominously, it now sees non-Opec production rising next year compared with 2016, albeit by just 200,000 b/d. That’s despite two producers — Gabon and Indonesia — migrating from the non-Opec to the Opec camp. For all the pain of lower prices and prioritisation of market share, forecast non-Opec supply in 2017 is seen at just 400,000 b/d down on 2015.
Algerian oil minister Noureddine Boutarfa seized the baton from his Venezuelan counterpart last week, engaging in a sprint around oil producing countries to drum up support for an unspecified proposal to put to Opec members – and maybe to others too – in Algiers at the end of this month.
The big beasts are tantalising market watchers ahead of an informal gathering of producer countries on the fringes of the International Energy Forum on 24-26 September. Even as the political rhetoric from regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran bubbles up again with the approach of the Hajj pilgrimage, the mood music promises a more harmonious discussion among Opec members than any since the 2014 price collapse.
But more interesting than a possible short-run convergence of Saudi and Iranian oil policy is a message given out by Iran on its long-term perspective.
The index of London-listed oil and gas producer share prices hit a more than one year high this morning. Of course, an index that embraces everything from the most tiddlerish of minnows through to the blue whales of BP and Shell contains many fallers as well as risers. But as an Argus blog noted on the day of the UK EU referendum result, the kneejerk sell-off of BP and Shell shares that morning was just a blip on a 12-month graph of prices, as was the down dip in crude prices.
Front-month Ice Brent is down some 5pc today, with product barge prices in northwest Europe trotting along behind. But look at a graph of Ice Brent prices over the last year and the move is lost in the broad falling trend of 2015 and the rising trend of 2016, emphasising that the UK vote to leave the EU is not a cataclysm, for now at any rate.