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.
“We are a price taker. We are not a price maker, unfortunately. So, as we have just re-discovered, if you are not a price maker but a price taker, your job is to control breakeven,” Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanne told the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) this week.
He was referring to the past three years when oil and gas companies (aka price takers) have had no other choice but to introduce very strict financial discipline, boost the efficiency of their operations, defer or cancel quite a few development projects and in general learn again how to survive and thrive in a lower oil price environment.
There has been an outbreak of unity within Opec, just when it needed it the most.
Tanker owners are looking to rejuvenate their fleets. Nothing new, I hear you say, ordering new ships is what owners do.
But talk of a nascent consolidation in the sector suggested things could be different this time around. Shipowners with strong enough balance sheets could be looking at other ways to expand, rather than ordering new vessels and adding to an oversupplied market.
When I saw thick smoke coming out of my computer, I was mortified. If it was the hard drive that caught fire, all my precious files – from unfinished university essays to party pictures to music files – were gone forever.
That was in 1997. If only there was a way at the time to back up those files automatically…