OPEC+ Accelerated its Oil Output Increases & the White House Welcomed the Decision, but the Market is Tight

  • USOil
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OPEC+ Boosts Output

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and ten allies including Russia, a grouping commonly known as OPEC+, have been increasing their output in order to unwind the production cuts that had been made during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Based on the 19th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting of July 2021, the group had agreed on a plan to increase its output by around 0.4 million barrels per day (bpd), starting from August of that year and endeavoring to end the adjustments by the end of September 2022. [1]

At the 29th meeting yesterday, OPEC+ decided to ramp-up production by 648,000 barrels/day for July and August [2]. This 216K bpd bump came by advancing the September adjustment and equally distributing it into those two months, thus bringing forward the expected end-date of the rises plan.

The US White House Press Secretary welcomed the "important decision", as the administration has a huge political headache due high inflation, caused in large part by the soaring energy prices. [3]

President Biden is reported to visit OPEC's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, despite the fallout after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi back in 2018. Ms Jean-Pierre did not rule this out, saying that "the President is focused on, first and foremost, is how his engagements with foreign leaders advance American interests. That is — that's as true with Saudi Arabia as anywhere else". [3]

Tight Oil Market

OPEC+ has often come under pressure to move with more generous output increases, in order to help bring prices down and finally gave in to them, with Thursday's decision.

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This action however, may fail to make much of an impact, as it did not exclude Russia from those increases, which has seen it output fall significantly due the war in Ukraine and Western sanctions against it.

As per the International Energy Agency's (IEA) monthly report in May, Russia had shut in nearly one million barrel/day in April, driving down world oil supply by 710 kb/d to 98.1 million barrel/day [4], while European leaders reached an agreement to ban most oil imports from the country earlier in the week. [5]

Saudi Arabia is probably one of few producers that can increase their supply, with a Financial Times report earlier in the week, suggesting the country is ready to boost its output to compensate for Russian production, if this was to fall substantially due to sanctions. [6]

The oil market is very tight and the CEO of oil giant Saudi Aramco, alluded to this last month, warning of "very low spare capacity" on a Bloomberg interview. Mr Amir Nasser added that spare capacity is "2% or lower in a market of 100 million barrels". [7]

The tightness is evident in US oil inventories which dropped again, as per Thursday's weekly data, by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 5.1 million barrels in the week ending in May 27, from the previous one. At 414.7 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 15% below the five year average for this time of year.[8]

USOil Analysis

The commodity had strenghtned on Thursday, as market probably were unimpressed by the decision and the rumors around it, beforehand. This was also fueled by the US Dollar's plunge, which reacted negatively to some poor economic releases from the United States, the world largest oil consumer.

USOil, which comes from six straight profitable months, is having a relatively good week, but trades with caution today. As such, it is vulnerable to further pressure that could test the upper border of the daily Ichimoku cloud (at around 113.00), but a catalyst would be required for a breach of the lower border and the EMA200 (110.40-109.40).

This area can support the commodity, but closes below it, could shift bias to the downside and bring the ascending trendline from the December lows into question.

However, momentum is clearly on the upside and bulls have the ability to push for new highs and 122.00, although tackling the multi-year highs from March, has a high degree of difficulty at this stage.

Markets will not turn to the US Jobs report, which can create volatility and impact oil prices.

Nikos Tzabouras

Senior Market Specialist

Nikos Tzabouras is a graduate of the Department of International & European Economic Studies at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He has a long time presence at FXCM, as he joined the company in 2011. He has served from multiple positions, but specializes in financial market analysis and commentary.

With his educational background in international relations, he emphasizes not only on Technical Analysis but also in Fundamental Analysis and Geopolitics – which have been having increasing impact on financial markets. He has longtime experience in market analysis and as a host of educational trading courses via online and in-person sessions and conferences.

References

1

Retrieved 03 Jun 2022 https://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/press_room/6512.htm

2

Retrieved 03 Jun 2022 https://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/press_room/6882.htm

3

Retrieved 03 Jun 2022 https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/press-briefings/2022/06/02/press-briefing-by-press-secretary-karine-jean-pierre-and-covid-19-response-coordinator-dr-ashish-jha/

4

Retrieved 03 Jun 2022 https://www.iea.org/reports/oil-market-report-may-2022

5

Retrieved 03 Jun 2022 https://twitter.com/eucopresident/status/1531424785464320000

6

Retrieved 03 Jun 2022 https://www.ft.com/content/cf18ce69-e46a-4802-9058-1340c5a2c94d

7

Retrieved 03 Jun 2022 https://www.youtube.com/watch

8

Retrieved 02 Jul 2022 https://ir.eia.gov/wpsr/wpsrsummary.pdf

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