EghtesadOnline: OPEC is on course to finalize the details of the Algiers accord to cut oil production at a meeting in Vienna on Tuesday, said a delegate from Nigeria.
"There is certainty that everybody is on board,” Ibrahim Waya told reporters on his way into a meeting at the secretariat of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. “Everyone knows that the stakes are high."
Oil traders and analysts have grown more confident this week that OPEC will reach a deal to curb global oversupply. After a first day of talks in the Austrian capital on Monday -- a warm-up for a ministerial meeting next week -- Libyan OPEC Governor Mohamed Oun said the discussions went well. Oil has risen 6.9 percent in New York this week, the biggest two-day gain since September, according to Bloomberg.
OPEC proposed in September limiting output to a collective 32.5 million to 33 million barrels a day, which would be its first cut in eight years. The group’s own estimates show production at 33.6 million barrels a day last month.
The main hurdles to finalizing the Algiers accord have been demands from some members for exemptions from cuts. Iran has sought special treatment since it’s newly free of international sanctions, while Iraq has contested OPEC’s production estimates that would form the basis for the accord. This week’s meeting in Vienna, alongside intensive diplomacy among member states, is aimed at resolving those differences.
“The rise in prices since the end of last week can be explained by the growing expectation that OPEC will agree on production cuts at its meeting next week,” Commerzbank AG said in a note. “It looks as if Saudi Arabia and its allied Gulf neighbors will reduce production on their own, though only on condition that the other OPEC states do not step up their output.”
West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 2 percent to $49.20 a barrel.
“The Algerian plan is the only plan that has been on the cards,” Waya said. It would be a six-month agreement to take effect in January, he added.
OPEC has spent the almost two months since the Algiers meeting trying to work out how to share out supply curbs. Iraq has since sought an exemption from making cuts, arguing that its fight against Islamic State justifies special treatment. Iraq will make “new proposals” to help reach an agreement, Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said in an e-mailed statement Nov. 21.
Non-OPEC nations including Russia, the world’s largest energy exporter, will meet with OPEC members in Vienna on Nov. 28 to discuss cooperation on oil-supply curbs. Energy Minister Alexander Novak has repeatedly said Russia would prefer to freeze output at current record levels than make cuts.
"You had President Putin clearly speaking yesterday about this agreement to freeze,” Waya said. “He calls it freeze. Which is the language that everybody will be interested in."
The urgency for a deal has grown even stronger since Algiers, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a note Monday.
“Oil fundamentals have weakened sharply since OPEC announced a tentative agreement” and the current glut will increase to about 700,000 barrels a day in the first three months of next year unless OPEC acts, according to the bank’s research note. Any cut would have to come primarily from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, with other members keeping output steady at current levels through the first half of 2017, it said.