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The Confusing Rumors About Russia's Suspension From OPEC+

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

The rumors this week that OPEC could suspend Russia’ from its production quota agreement were likely just a testing of the waters. These rumors were complicated by the media’s confusing use of the term “suspended”. On Tuesday, unnamed OPEC delegates suggested to media that the group could suspend Russia. On Wednesday, the OPEC+ Joint Technical Committee said it did not discuss suspending Russia’s quota. Some argued that the term “suspended”, in OPEC speak, should be substituted with the word “exempt”. Using that interpretation, the report - from anonymous delegates - was that the group was considering giving Russia a pass on limiting its production per the current agreement. The move could be seen as OPEC trying to make room for the group to increase production more than planned, but the group hardly needs justification for doing that, with or without Russia. After all, the oil consumers of the world have been begging OPEC for just that - more oil. In the end, Thursday’s OPEC meets concluded without any revocation of Russia’s production limits.

OPEC+ agreed on Thursday to bring their planned September production increase forward, and spread it across July and August. The result is instead of rubber-stamping a 423,000 bpd increase in July, the pact announced a 648,000 bpd increase in July, and another 648,000 in August. In reality, moving it forward represents…

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