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Trump Has “Big Talk” With Putin, Saudi King Salman About Oil

U.S. President Donald Trump said he had a “big talk” with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi King Salman regarding oil production, expressing hopes that a deal on the control of said production would be announced soon.

“We had a big talk as to oil production and OPEC and making it so that our industry does well and the oil industry does better than its doing right now,” Trump said as quoted by Reuters.

It remains unclear whether the deal Trump mentioned would involve the participation of the United States: Reuters reported on the U.S. president’s statement after OPEC+ sources announced that it had reached an agreement in principle to remove 10 million bpd from global supply beginning in May.

It remains to be seen how much everyone will cut. Initial reports from unofficial OPEC sources suggest that Russia and Saudi Arabia will both slash their production to around 8.5 million bpd.

Following those unofficial reports that were trickling in, OPEC issued a press release, in which it said that all producers would be cutting from a baseline of their average for October 2018 except Russia and Saudi Arabia, “both with the same baseline level of 11.0 mb/d.”

The cuts, according to the press release, would be effective from May, and taper down after June, but staying effective at some level through April 2022, to be reviewed in December next year. This is quite a long time for an agreement of this size, which indicates OPEC+ is finally taking the threat that the pandemic is to world oil economic activity and oil demand seriously. However, it may, as some warned, be too little too late.

A cut of 10 million bpd, even if it is effective for two months, as planned, would not do much to relieve the glut, which according to estimates may have reached 30 million bpd. The group said it expected other producers to join in with cuts of another 15 million bpd, which would be better for excess supply and storage capacity. 

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Allen Billings on April 10 2020 said:
    In other industries, this would be called "price fixing" and be illegal. I'm sure glad that the oil companies are allowed to make record profits when things are going well, but get government assistance when their profits start to shrink. Many small businesses will cease doing business after this pandemic, but I'm sure that the oil companies will get our gas prices back up over $3.00 very shortly after the pandemic ends.
  • Mamdouh Salameh on April 10 2020 said:
    The world needs action from the United States not talk. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) claimed that US oil production averaged 13 million barrels a day (mbd) during the last week of March. If so, then the United States should commit to cut production by 4 mbd since it claims to be the world’s largest crude oil producer or give us the real production loss the US shale oil industry has suffered since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak. EIA’s production figures are known to be very overstated.

    Moreover, the suggestion that Russia and Saudi Arabia should slash their production to around 8.5 mbd each is ludicrous. Russia was producing 11.44 mbd in October 2018 so reducing its production to 8.5 mbd means a cut of 2.94 mbd.

    On the other hand, Saudi Arabia could at best produce some 8.0-9.0 mbd with another 1.0 mbd coming from storage giving total supply figures of 9-10 mbd. So by reducing its production to 8.5 mbd, it would be only be cutting 0.5-1.5 mbd almost half of Russia’s cut and a very far cry from its commitment to cut 4 mbd. Does anybody believe Russia would fall for that?

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • David Chura on April 10 2020 said:
    How is it that one has to cut this oil output in order to help the economy?
    When us little guys are enjoying this cheaper gas prices at the pumps

    Seems someone is ripping off us little guys so those who are filthy rich can spend money to make more money
    When will they come down to earth and realize we are just people just the same as they are, yet we don't pull false strings to make money.

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