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OPEC Meeting Sparks Oil Price Volatility

In the latest edition of the Numbers Report, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting figures put out this week in the energy sector. Each week we’ll dig into some data and provide a bit of explanation on what drives the numbers.

Let’s take a look.

1. OPEC no decision – to revisit production levels

 

(Click to enlarge)

- OPEC surprised the oil markets by coming to no decision on a change in policy. But they did acknowledge current production levels, and said that while no official figure was settled on, they would agree on current “actual” production levels.
- Again, despite confusing media reports on a target increase from 30 million barrels per day (mb/d) to 31.5 mb/d, OPEC instead agreed not to officially change the target, but acknowledged current “actual” production levels. Actual production levels are at 31.8 mb/d.
- OPEC said it couldn’t agree on a target increase because Iran is slated to re-enter global markets. OPEC will revisit the official target over the next few months. Ostensibly, the target stays at 30 mb/d, even though actual levels are above that.
- OPEC has consistently produced above its production target, and that is not a new phenomenon (see chart).
- OPEC has adjusted output in the past to address market changes. A few examples: an increase in ’08 during the run up in prices; a decrease once the financial crisis hit; and an…

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