Saudi oil minister suggests Opec oil cartel would keep its production ceiling at 30m barrels per day
Oil slumped on Wednesday as expectations that Opec will cut production faded following dovish remarks by cartel kingpin Saudi Arabia, which could signal the beginning of a price war.
Speaking on the sidelines ahead of Thursday’s critical meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) in Vienna, Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi said: “The market will stabilise itself eventually”.
Brent crude – a global benchmark comprised of a blend of high-quality oil from 15 North Sea fields – fell 1.3pc to $77.30 per barrel after Mr Naimi’s comments, before recovering to trade flat at $78.29 by late afternoon. Brent crude has fallen 30pc since June. Continue reading
Next month’s Opec meeting will take place against a background of dissension between two power blocs in an organisation that controls the lifeblood of the global economy, reports Andrew Critchelow.
A secretive group of the world’s most powerful oil ministers will soon gather in Vienna to take arguably one of the most important decisions that could affect the still fragile world economy: whether to cut production of crude to defend prices at US$100 per barrel, or keep open the spigots as winter looms among the biggest energy-consuming nations.
A sudden slump in the price of crude has exposed deep divisions within the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) ahead of its final scheduled meeting of the year next month to decide on how much oil to pump.
Some members, led by Iran, have called for immediate action to stem the drop in oil prices, while the Arab sheikhdoms of the Gulf have so far argued that it could be another three months before it becomes clear whether the group should cut production for the first time since December 2008. Whatever they decide, oil remains the lifeblood of the global economic system due to its direct impact on inflation and input prices. Continue reading