Saudi Arabia has given oil traders the first glimmer of clarity on what it might take to prompt the world’s biggest crude exporter to change course on policy, suggesting that its laissez faire attitude may be wearing thin.
The Energy Intelligence newsletter reported on Thursday that Saudi Arabia is considering proposing that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cuts output next year by 1 million barrels per day (bpd) and has determined participants and volumes on which a deal would depend — a surprise move that would be the Kingdom’s first definitive proposal since prices collapsed.
A Saudi oil source described media reports of such a proposal as “baseless”, and a separate source said the matter was not raised at an informal meeting of producers on Thursday.
Iraq, Iran and Russia, meanwhile, would appear to have torched any remote hopes of a cut being agreed at Friday’s OPEC meeting by rejecting the idea that they would reduce or limit output, as the mooted Saudi plan would require.
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