When Opec and its non-member allies agreed combined production cuts of some 1.8mn b/d for six months from the beginning of this month to speed market rebalancing, there were going to be two keys to success in pushing prices higher — sentiment and reality.
There was an interesting aside in an otherwise routine trading update this week from UK independent Serica. It said operating costs at the Erskine condensate field in the UK North Sea are averaging well below its guidance of $20/bl of oil equivalent (boe), thanks in no small part to the pound’s lower exchange rate against the dollar.
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.
It was a strange mix of moods at the Marrakesh climate talks today, following Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.
Some were defiant. Others despaired. And some were going about their business as if nothing had happened.
This is odd given that president-elect Trump has threatened to “cancel” the Paris climate agreement, which saw 195 nations agree to phase out the use of fossil fuels — an agreement that the Marrakesh talks are now trying to put into action.
Great-great-great uncle Jamsetji* set up a trading firm in Mumbai 148 years ago. The company did rather well. Over the years it grew and turned the family name — Tata — into a global brand that made everything from cars to Tetley teabags.