OPEC+ alone can’t fix Joe Biden’s oil problem

In this interview with Dan Murphy from CNBC International, Dr Carole Nakhle, CEO of Crystol Energy, comments on OPEC+’s latest meeting.

Key points covered during the discussion:

  1. As expected, no surprises from OPEC+’s latest meeting, but the big question is what will happen next as the OPEC+ deal will be revisited in September.
  2. OPEC’s spare capacity has always been concentrated in the GCC countries, namely, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait, and current estimates indicate that Saudi Arabia and the UAE hold around 2.5 Mb/d spare capacity, though the numbers vary across different sources.
  3. Currently, warnings of shortage of oil are becoming increasingly louder. However, with the world’s second largest oil exporter being most sanctioned country and if not enough oil around, why aren’t oil prices much higher than what we are seeing today??
  4. US President Biden’s recent acknowledgement that Americans should accept high oil prices indicates that there isn’t much he can do to tame prices after months of trying. 
  5. The future of Russia in OPEC+ is a sticky point. It is unlikely that OPEC+ will turn its back to Russia as its the second largest producer in this alliance and, thus, is important for the longevity of the producers group.
  6. The application of a price cap on Russian oil supplies is complicated since it will involve different countries with varying legislations and administrative capacities. A big question also looms which is whether Russia will stick to the current production levels if a price cap was introduced.
  7. As inflation in 2022 is worsening and central banks are raising interest rates, the scenario of a global recession is becoming closer to reality. In this case, weaker economic growth will lead to weaker demand for oil, thereby putting downward pressure on prices.
Watch the discussion:

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Global oil markets and OPEC+ plans“, Dr Carole Nakhle, Jun 2022

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