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Jim Hyerczyk

Jim Hyerczyk

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Failed OPEC Meeting Could Drive Oil Prices Lower

OPEC

November West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures traded mostly sideways this week as investors shrugged off production and inventories numbers in anticipation of a decision on Friday to extend or perhaps deepen production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC producers.

Oil ministers from OPEC and other producers led by Russia are currently discussing a possible extension to the current agreement under which producers are cutting output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until March 2018.

Some traders also believe the group will discuss deepening the production cuts and the monitoring of exports to assess compliance with the deal. This suggests that some believe the deal is working to trim production and stabilize prices while others are still suspicious about compliance.

At the start of the meeting on Friday, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said that all factors in the oil market pointed to headwinds ahead for U.S. shale oil producers.

Additionally, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday that OPEC and the other producers needed to continue coordinated action and work on a strategy from April 2018.

Earlier in the week, traders said there would be some focus on whether Nigeria and Libya, who have been exempt from the curbs, will join any future cuts.

The most optimistic scenario would be an agreement to extend the production cuts, a deepening of the cuts and a new deal to include Libya and Nigeria in the program. This scenario…




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