Friday, September 22, 2017

Is $50 an optimum crude price for GCC countries?

Before the Oilholic begins the journey back to London, there is the little matter of gauging the ‘crude’ opinion of known industry contacts seated comfortably in the Disneyland for adults, sorry Dubai!

Quite like the consensus among delegates at the recently concluded Gulf Intelligence Energy Market Forum, most think the United Arab Emirates and its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members would indeed be comfortable at $50 per barrel. To quote one physical trader, a $50+ price level is the modest middle ground that both Gulf producers and US shale players can work with.

The regional broadsheets – Khaleej Times, Gulf News and The National – as well as several internet forums seem to be leading their respective crude narrative this morning with the Iraqi minister’s quip at EMF2017. For OPEC, which quite frankly appears to have no exit strategy for its current round of cuts totalling 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd), there could a renewed impetus on deepening the cuts. 

The cartel’s compliance committee meets on Friday with the exempt duo of Nigeria and Libya – whose production has been steadily rising – in sharp focus. Production for both is up; in Libya’s case the data is erratic and in Nigeria’s case often over-reported.

Analysts from JBC energy say the average revision was around 100,000 bpd for the months from January to July 2017 for Nigeria. “We would expect a similar revision for August and hence expect the final crude figure to come in at 1.65 million bpd,” they add.

At 1.65 million bpd, perhaps the time is indeed right for Nigeria to be invited to cut on 30 November. But who knows how this will go in the complicated world of OPEC shenanigans. 

In theory the cartel could cut further and fan the so-called ongoing ‘rally’ more – but it should not for one moment assume that US producers would not benefit. More American oil is in any case imminent; more so should OPEC introduce even deeper cuts on paper. If anything, the move would accelerate the US’ march to 10 million bpd much sooner in 2018 than later. Let’s see where it all goes.

Just one final matter before, the Oilholic takes your leave – remember the ADNOC fuel distribution unit IPO back in July, that sent equity analysts pulses racing? Well, this blogger thought there would be more excitement in the UAE about it than one has encountered over the past few days.

While there is reasonable amount of chatter about fast-tracking it and other IPOs before Saudi Aramco’s so-called mother of all IPOs, there is very little concrete information on the timeline and the road ahead. That’s kinda disappointing but that’s all for the moment from the UAE folks as its time for the ride home to London. Keep reading, keep it crude!

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To email: gaurav.sharma@oilholicssynonymous.com

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