Back in the 1990s, Venezuela, like some other Opec countries, used to fudge its crude production numbers to avoid accusations of breaching its Opec quota. Until recently, Caracas was still blurring the data, not to sneak extra barrels into the market, but to keep the market from knowing how much its production was falling.
Over the past few months, Venezuela looks to have come clean on the data — so clean that even secondary sources like Argus are racing to knotch down their estimates of Venezuelan output. It’s a far cry from the days when official data routinely exceeded secondary source estimates.
Don’t be surprised to find an idle Spanish language interpreter or two along Vienna’s Helferstorferstrasse this week, as Latin America’s sole Opec members are preoccupied with their rocky home fronts. Venezuela and Ecuador appear content to let Opec´s heavyweights plus Russia hammer out the terms of the likely extension of a deal to restrict output. Their effective withdrawal means the region has less of a voice at the negotiating table, matching their loss of relevance in the market. Continue reading
Blockchain technology may be approaching the business mainstream as its most well-known application – cryptocurrency — made the July cover of Forbes magazine, but the application is still closer to the back page for the oil and gas sector. Continue reading
The market looks to the Opec monthly report for guidance. Over the years since it started at a few faxed pages, rather thin on content, that turned up when it turned up, it has acquired some gravitas, a counterpoint to the IEA report.
There has been an outbreak of unity within Opec, just when it needed it the most.