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Why Saudi Arabia Is Likely To Win The OPEC+ Standoff

OPEC+ could take until August to decide whether to adjust production baselines, Arab News reported, citing JP Morgan analyst Christian Malek.

According to Malek, the oil cartel could take up to six weeks to decide on its next steps.

“In the end, we expect Saudi to get its way,” Malek wrote in a note to clients, adding “The proposal led by Saudi and Russia of an increase of 400,000 barrels per month starting from August (until reaching the April 2020 reference production level) has yet to be endorsed by the UAE, despite the fact that it serves to help neutralize future deficits and control the oil upside.”

OPEC+ offered the oil world a fresh drama earlier this month when it was supposed to agree to add more barrels to global supply from July and then more from August. However, the UAE, OPEC’s third-biggest producer and a loyal ally of de facto leader Saudi Arabia until now, said it wanted its baseline adjusted first before it agreed to any production changes.

“Everyone sacrificed but, unfortunately, the UAE sacrificed the most, making one-third of our production idle for two years,” the country’s oil minister Suhail Al Mazrouei told CNBC earlier this month, adding “We knew that the UAE position in that agreement was the worst in terms of comparing our current capacity with the level of production. But an agreement is an agreement.”

The UAE has a production capacity of about 4 million bpd, but its actual output was capped at 2.59 million bpd until the end of 2020, rising to 2.74 million this year. The baseline for the cap was average production in November 2018, which, according to Al Mazrouei, was too long ago.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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