Oil Dips On OPEC Expectations As Analysts Question Cartel's Efficacy

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday November 28, 2023

This week's impending meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continued to influence crude trading on Monday, with oil continuing its downward trajectory as sentiment held with the possibility that the cartel would extend existing cuts rather than deepen them, as initially hoped for.

Brent settled down 60 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $79.98 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate settle down 68 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $74.86.

Rebecca Babin, senior energy trader at CIBC Private Wealth, said of OPEC reportedly being on the brink of reaching deals with members Nigeria and Angola, "Although there are headlines that Saudi has made progress reaching consensus, there is limited risk appetite to buy crude ahead of the formal announcement.

"Until we get clarity on how this plays out, expect crude to struggle to rally."

But while OPEC is influencing trading, some analysts point out that its influence on the global crude market is negligible at best: the International Energy Agency posited that even if members extend their cuts into next year, there will still be a slight surplus of stocks around the world in 2024.

In other oil news on Monday, crude loadings at Russia's Novorossiysk and CPC terminal were halted as a storm on the Black Sea left half a million people without power in Crimea; this was in addition to oil output in Kazakhstan, which uses CPC for the bulk of its seaborne crude exports, dropping 15 percent.

Also, Bloomberg on Monday reported that despite being part of nine companies that borrowed U.S. government oil as part of an exchange program the past two years, Shell, TotalEnergies, and Chevron Corp are delaying Washington's efforts to replenish its emergency oil reserve.

The news agency added that while Phillips 66 is the only company that has completed repayment, "the transaction didn't add any barrels to the reserve; the Houston-based fuelmaker instead repaid its loan with government crude it purchased — but had not yet received — from a previous tender."