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Nick Cunningham

Nick Cunningham

Nick Cunningham is an independent journalist, covering oil and gas, energy and environmental policy, and international politics. He is based in Portland, Oregon. 

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Why OPEC’s Decision To Delay Makes Sense

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OPEC decided to maintain deeper cuts for the next few months, but it also decided to delay until June a decision on whether or not to extend the supply curbs.

When OPEC and its non-OPEC partners announced the new round of production cuts last December in Vienna, it also said that it would revisit the agreement in April. The meeting was intended to assess the progress of the cuts, take stock of the oil market, and decide whether or not to continue the agreement.

The Trump administration has sent contradicting signals on this issue in the last few weeks. The Trump team’s lead envoy on Iran sanctions, Brian Hook, said in Houston earlier this month that the degree to which the U.S. government tightens the screws may hinge on Venezuela. Hook’s comments, made at the IHS CERAWeek Conference, sounded somewhat conciliatory, and he admitted that America’s ambitions will be calibrated with an eye on oil prices. Trump “has made it very clear that we need to have a campaign of maximum economic pressure ... but he also doesn't want to shock oil markets, he wants to ensure a well-supplied and stable oil market,” Hook said. “When you have a better-supplied oil market it enables us to accelerate our path to zero, but we also know that there are a lot of variables that go…





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