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Is It Still Possible To Rebalance The Oil Market?

There is still a chance to rebalance oil markets if the OPEC+ group expands to include more producing countries, the head of the Russian sovereign wealth fund, Kiril Dmitriev, told Reuters in an interview.

The bold statement comes after several global demand revisions, the most recent from IEA's Director Fatih Birol, who yesterday said demand could fall by 20 million bpd.

"Joint actions by countries are needed to restore the (global) economy... They (joint actions) are also possible in OPEC+ deal's framework," Dmitriev said, adding that, "We are in contact with Saudi Arabia and a number of other countries. Based on these contacts we see that if the number of OPEC+ members will increase and other countries will join there is a possibility of a joint agreement to balance oil markets."

Earlier this month, Washington announced it would send a special energy envoy to Saudi Arabia as it grapples with the effect of the oil price collapse of the U.S. oil industry. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette also told media there was talk about an oil alliance between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia aimed at cutting production to prop up prices. Brouillette noted, however, that it is just one of many ideas about how to respond to the looming crisis.

In a further sign that the U.S. is ready to take production-control steps, a member of the Texas Railroad Commission, the state's oil and gas energy regulator, said there was a possibility that producers in Texas could agree on production cuts in concert with OPEC.

"Those are wholly within state matters ... from a federal level we have no ongoing engagements with OPEC, it's a cartel," a State Department official said in response to questions about commissioner Sitton's statement.

Dmitriev did not mention any specific producing countries that could join the OPEC+ group. Still, as many observers see the oil price war that started earlier this month as an attack on U.S. shale, chances are there may be expectations of America's involvement in any future production control measures.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on March 28 2020 said:
    In view of the coronavirus outbreak, the Saudi oil price war on Russia and a growing glut in the global oil market estimated at 4.8-6.0 million barrels a day (mbd), it is only possible to
    re-balance the global oil market if more major oil-producing nations including the United States join OPEC+ efforts to stabilize oil prices.

    It has become patently obvious that efforts by OPEC+ in the past to deplete the glut and arrest the slide of oil prices have been hampered by the US shale oil industry gaining recklessly producing even at a loss partly to enable the US to have a say in the global oil market along Russia and Saudi Arabia. It has also been gaining market share at the expense of OPEC+ members.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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