Whatever OPEC Decides, Supplies Continue To Rise

No matter what OPEC says Friday about its production target, the outcome is sure to be more oil.

Iran, Iraq and Libya said this week they plan to add millions of barrels to the market this year. Saudi Arabia, the biggest member in the group, is already pumping the most in three decades. And executives from the world’s biggest oil companies pledged to keep expanding by cutting costs and focusing on the most promising drilling sites.

The contest for market share is proving more important than price as the Saudis seek to undercut higher-cost producers while costs keep dropping. The competition is intensifying because producers are eager to sell ever more oil even as world demand slows.

“High prices spurred the commercialization of an awful lot of oil that’s now ready to be sold in the market,” Ed Morse, Citigroup Inc.’s New York-based head of global commodities research, said by phone. “The decline in demand is making it very difficult to sell oil when you’ve got not just the shale revolution, but Iran and Iraq and other OPEC countries wanting to produce a lot more.”

Brent crude, the benchmark for more than half the world’s oil, fell 60 percent to a six-year low of $46.59 a barrel in January from $115.06 in June. It’s up 32 percent since then and traded at $61.65 a barrel at 10:06 a.m. London time Friday. The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts Brent will average $60.79 in 2015.

Angola needs a price of $80, Oil Minister Jose Botelho said Friday in Vienna. New projects will slow down amid the slump in prices, he said.


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell