OPEC Maintains Production Cuts

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is not in a rush to ramp up production levels — disregarding pressure from US President Donald Trump to do just that.

The news came at the end of an OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee in Algiers, Algeria on Sunday, which brought together both OPEC and non-OPEC members of the Declaration of Cooperation. The OPEC-led supply cuts, credited with saving the struggling oil industry, have been in place since January 2017. This month, Brent crude prices hit $80/barrel, a new record since the oil price crash began in 2014.

Sunday’s meeting ended without action to boost crude supplies.

Trump blasted OPEC yet again on Twitter, calling for an end to production cuts.

“We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!” Trump tweeted on Sept. 20, ahead of the meeting in Algiers.

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih hit back, however, telling Reuters at the meeting in Algiers that the markets are stable.

“I do not influence prices,” he said to reporters. “The markets are adequately supplied. I don’t know of any refiner in the world who is looking for oil and is not able to get it.”

If there was an issue with supply, however, Falih said he Saudi Arabia could raise output by 1.5 million barrels per day.

Also last week, Secretary General of OPEC Mohammed Barkindo told reporters that he planned to have a framework for long-term OPEC/non-OPEC cooperation by December.