Aramco to Announce May Oil Prices After OPEC+ Meeting

07 Avril, 2020, 03:52 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Oil Retreats as Meeting Delay Raises Doubts for Price War Truce

Andrew Stanley, an oil market analyst at The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, said without some globally organized policy push prices will continue with no clear path to a price recovery.

The WTI crude plunged over 3 per cent to $27.37 per barrel. Members of OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, have stepped up efforts to resolve the dispute in recent days, but they have called on other big producers - including the United States - to be involved.

Oil prices hit an 18-year low on March 30 but have since rebounded somewhat.

The worldwide oil benchmark, Brent crude, extended its gains last Friday, climbing to as high as $34.91 a barrel on rising hopes of a new global deal to cut crude supply.

But without some government intervention, be it though new restrictions on flows or state mandated production curtailments, like those some want imposed in Texas, a corresponding supply response to the ongoing, historic decline in demand might lag significantly, further exacerbating future boom-bust cycles in the market, analysts said.

Prices may decline more gradually after Saudi Arabia sent a signal that a production cut deal may be ahead, and the USA has said it will put pressure on Saudi Arabia and its allies for such a deal.

Crude soared last week following Trump's announcement of an imminent OPEC+ deal to cut global oil production by 10 or even 15 million barrels.

Still, Trump said on Saturday that he would impose tariffs on crude imports if he has to "protect" U.S. energy workers from the oil price crash that has been exacerbated by the price war between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia over market share.

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And while Trump's public allegiance to the free market may be unsurprising for a United States president, and appeared to be contradicted by his support for tariffs a day later, analysts and some of his top energy advisers see this as a naïve view of the global oil market and a strategy which will further sink the floundering U.S. shale sector.

"I think it's happening automatically but nobody's asked me that question yet so we'll see what happens", the president told a press briefing Monday afternoon. The White House has not suggested it would try to persuade producers to reduce output.

National oil company Saudi Aramco typically issues its Official Selling Prices (OSPs) by the 5th of each month, setting the trend for Iranian, Kuwaiti and Iraqi prices and affecting more than 12 million barrels of oil per day bound for Asia.

"Even the most free-market countries can not tolerate boom and bust price cycles for a commodity that is tantamount to economic lifeblood", Bob McNally, president of the Rapidan Energy Group, wrote in a paper released Friday.

The OPEC+ meeting was initially due to take place on Monday, but was postponed to April 9 "to allow for more time to reach out to all producers, including OPEC+ and others", the Saudi source said.

"It is an unprecedented measure that has not been taken by Aramco before". The drop comes after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-member partners abruptly delayed their emergency meeting until Thursday, apparently due to standing disagreements between Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation. "We are doing what we can to make it successful, including taking this extraordinary step to delay the OSPs", the Saudi source told Reuters.

US President Donald Trump spent the weekend downplaying a potential OPEC+ production agreement, embracing both the free market's ability to resolve the price collapse, celebrating the benefits of sub-$1/gal gasoline to US consumers and threatening tariffs on oil imports.

Unlike Russia and Saudi Arabia, whose oil industries are largely state-owned, the US industry is comprised of private companies and Washington has little power over output.



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