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OPEC Sets the Stage for A Price Crash

Oil Rig

Friday, September 23 2016

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. Speculators await OPEC meeting

(Click to enlarge)

- Short bets on crude oil surged in late July, corresponding with a crash in crude to the low-$40s per barrel. Then the OPEC rumors in August forced shorts to head for the exits, and long bets soared.
- As we approach the much-anticipated meeting in Algeria, oil speculators are taking a breather. Both long and shorts were cut by mid-September.
- “There’s more uncertainty than usual in the market because of the upcoming meeting. People are waiting for the outcome and a number think this is a good time to stand on the sidelines,” John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC, told Bloomberg.
- The outcome of the Algeria meeting will have an immediate, although likely temporary, impact on oil prices. But after the markets digest the news for a few days, speculators will shift their sights back to the fundamentals, which admittedly do not look good for the rest of this year.

2. OPEC producing near record levels

(Click to enlarge)

- Officials from OPEC and member states have gone to great lengths in recent weeks to downplay the significance…

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