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.
The standout figure in this week’s IEA Oil Market Report is its forecast for the 2017 call on Opec crude — 33.5mn b/d, a meaty 1mn b/d up on the forecast for this year.
The IEA’s forecast increase for 2016 over 2015 is bigger still, and follows a modest rise even for the producers’ nightmare year 2015 over 2014.
Argus is not yet forecasting beyond the end of this year, but concurs with the IEA that the call this year will be well over 2mn b/d more than last year’s. For good measure, that is what Opec says too.
As pitches go, it was not promising: “Oil and gas firms struggling due to price slump”. The press release bearing the headline might itself struggle to gain traction this far into the oil-price cycle. Tell me something I don’t know, says hard-bitten hack.