Thursday, June 04, 2015

OPEC's 167th meet: The crude story so far

The Oilholic is back in Vienna, camped up here in the Austrian capital for OPEC’s latest deliberations with an extended round of market chatter in the shape of the organisation’s once-in-two years International Seminar (which concluded on Thursday) ahead of the minister’s summit.

Not all 12 OPEC members are having sleepless nights. The mood in some camps is pretty placid, and not at all dark as some would have you believe. Two days of the international seminar have been fascinating. The sixth in the series saw a procession of CEOs come and go, but Ryan Lance, CEO of ConocoPhillips, delivered a blinder of a speech telling his hosts – shale was here to stay. 

Representing the buyers’ club, Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan bluntly called for a revision of terms and conditions on which his country, a major client of OPEC exporters, imports oil. Both comments stood out for the Oilholic in terms of robustness. Here’s one take in a column for Forbes.

There were plenty of spot reports for Sharecast to share around too. In wake of the oil price decline, several CEOs – including CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Ben van Beurden, Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne, Eni Claudio Descalzi and Chevron chairman & CEO John Watson - called for a rethink in industry strategy (click here for report)

Emerging market demand or non-OECD demand remained a recurring theme for OPEC as well as wider industry commentators with member ministers and Big Oil bosses queuing up to point out Asia is where most of their crude product’s demand will come from. 

Even before the ministers have convened there is palpable sense here in Vienna, that OPEC would not move to alter its production quota of 30 million barrels per day (bpd), given that it’s already ‘officially’ pumping 930,000 bpd more than that, with unofficial estimates putting it some 1.5 million barrels above.

There’s always the element of surprise, but that element seems to be missing here, especially on crude matters. Finally, the Oilholic leaves you with a view of OPEC Gala Dinner on Wednesday night (see above right) where one met a lot of old friends and made yet newer ones. This post is just to get the ball rolling, more from Vienna, very, very shortly. Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2015. Photo 1: OPEC's 6th International Seminar, Hofburg Palace, Vienna © OPEC Seminar Gala Dinner, Vienna City Hall, Austria, June 2015.

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