Russian, Saudi energy ministers discuss oil cooperation

16 February, 2018, 07:07 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • Russia and Saudi Arabia looking to cooperate on LNG project

"This is kind of an upside-down Thursday", said Dominick Chirichella, co-president at the Energy Management Institute in NY. US crude was up 1 cent at $60.61. He said he was puzzled at why a weaker dollar did not boost Brent futures prices. A weaker dollar makes oil and other dollar-denominated commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies, potentially boosting demand.

Oil prices have been fluctuating widely since the beginning of the year, hitting their highest levels in more than three years in January but recently posting their biggest weekly losses in two months in line with production and industry developments such as fluctuating USA oil rig counts. "Currently, the direction of the dollar is having a bigger impact on oil prices than fundamentals", said Rob Thummel, portfolio manager at energy investment manager Tortoise Energy.

OPEC and the non-OPEC producers' part of the production cuts deal will have a plan for long-term cooperation drafted by the end of 2018, as they seek to institutionalize their current collaboration into a supergroup of oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, the UAE's Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei told The National in an interview published on Thursday.

According to OPEC's latest production figures released earlier this week, Saudi Arabia lifted its January production by 23,300 bpd to 9.977 million bpd-but still below its 10.058-million-bpd quota, over complying once again.

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"Khalid al-Falih gave his strongest hint yet that exiting the current supply agreement is unlikely to be on the agenda this year", said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

However, despite OPEC's noblest efforts, an increase in US production poses a very real threat to oil prices.

The OPEC-led deal to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day, nearly 2 percent of global supply, started a year ago. US crude inventories increased last week by 1.8 million barrels, a significant number though slightly below analyst forecasts.



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