OPEC ministers are again meeting, this time in Doha, but haven’t yet showed a sign of a sweeping deal that could come out of Vienna and OPEC later this month. But I believe it’s going to be a lot more substantial that just about any other analyst thinks.
The markets are saying there won’t be much if any cut from OPEC and non-OPEC states from the meeting that’s going to take place on November 30th. A deal to limit OPEC to 32.5m barrels a day that was first suggested in Algiers in October would send oil prices well over $50 a barrel. Today, the $46 price you’re seeing represents a market that surely expects nothing from this meeting. I think the market is wrong.
The pressure to generating a production deal is being spearheaded by Saudi Arabia, although Nigeria and Venezuela would certainly approve. And the Saudis have certainly changed their tune in lots of substantial ways in 2016: They’ve begun floating sovereign bonds, a first time for them in beginning to monetizing national oil assets. They’re engaged in a real struggle for power inside the Saudi family, with young Prince Salman gaining public prominence over the older Prince bin Nayyef, still first in line for succession. Their military excursion against the Houti into Yemen isn’t going well. Younger Saudis are calling for a faster progression towards ‘Vision 2030’ and a relaxation of social restrictions inside the kingdom.
But, most importantly,…